With the New Hampshire presidential primaries just six weeks away, Hillary Clinton’s lead over Barack Obama and John Edwards is shrinking, while Republican front-runner Mitt Romney appears secure, according to a 7NEWS-Suffolk University poll.

Likely voters in the Democratic Primary, which includes independents, gave 34 percent support to Hillary Clinton, while 22 percent chose Barack Obama. Just 12 percent were undecided. However, in a June 2007 7NEWS/Suffolk University poll, Clinton led Obama by 18 points compared to her 12-point spread today.

“If Obama could shave off another six points in the next few weeks, he’ll be well within the margin of error – and John Edwards still has a chance to make it a three-person race," said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center.

Republican primary

Mitt Romney (34 percent) topped Rudy Giuliani (20 percent), followed by John McCain (13 percent), Ron Paul (8 percent), and Mike Huckabee (7 percent), with 14 percent undecided.

In the June 2007 7NEWS/Suffolk University poll, Romney had led Giuliani by four points, as opposed to fourteen points today. In the meantime, Fred Thompson, who polled 13 percent support in June, only garnered 2 percent in this poll.

“The dynamics are different on the Republican side,” said Paleologos. “Romney’s up; Giuliani’s down; McCain’s flat; Thompson is toast; and Ron Paul and Mike Huckabee are trying to break into double digits.”

Another sign of Romney’s strength: When likely Republican voters were asked which Presidential candidate they would trust to drive their children to school, 25 percent picked Romney; 17 percent chose McCain; 9 percent, Huckabee; and only 7 percent indicated Giuliani.


Choices not set in stone

Nearly half of likely voters from both parties said that they may change their minds before Jan. 8, 2008. Eleven percent were “very likely to change their mind,” and 38 percent were “somewhat likely.”

 The poll also reveals some similarities among New Hampshire voters of both parties, such as:
•79 percent opposed driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants
•76 percent believed New Hampshire will have the first presidential primary in 2012
•62 percent said selecting a candidate with similar views on issues was more important than winning the White House

About the poll

The 7NEWS-Suffolk University poll was conducted from Nov. 25 to Nov. 27, 2007. The margin of error is for each party subsample of 300 respondents is +/- 5.65 percent at a 95 percent level of confidence. The 600 respondent margin of error is +/- 4.00 percent. All respondents were likely primary voters in the New Hampshire presidential primary on Jan. 8, 2008. Marginals and 455 pages of cross-tabulation data are available. For more information, please contact David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center, at 781-290-9310.