New Hampshire poll
After speaking to a sellout crowd of more than 1,600 in New Hamp- shire, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama is reaping the benefits of his visit, the Concord (N.H.) Monitor reports.
If the Democratic primary were heldnow,Mr.Obamawouldbeinastatistical dead heat with New York Sen. HillaryRodhamClinton,accordingto a new Monitor poll. In November, a Monitor poll showed Mrs. Clinton trouncing her opponents, with Mr. Obama lagging 23 points behind, the newspaper said.
“I’mnotsurprised,becauseBarack Obamagotfivedaysofconstantmedia attention in New Hampshire,” said Jim Demers, a lobbyist and former Democratic lawmaker who accompanied Mr. Obama throughout the senator’s New Hampshire visit. “ObamahasdemonstratedtothepeopleofNewHampshirethathe’satoptier candidate.”
AlthoughMrs.Clintoncommands considerable support among likely Democratic primary voters, she struggles in general election matchups, according to the poll. If the contestwereheldnow,bothArizonaSen. John McCain and former New York City mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani would prevail over Mrs. Clinton. Mr. Obama, in contrast, would eke out a slight win over both Republican candidates,thepollsuggests.FormerDemocratic vice presidential nominee JohnEdwardsisneck-and-neckwith the Republicans.
Asthe2008presidentialprimaries near,theRepublicanfieldhasalsobecome increasingly competitive. Mr. Giuliani closed the gap with Mr. McCain in recent weeks, turning an 8point deficit into a slight lead, accordingtothepoll.MassachusettsGov.Mitt Romney and former House speaker Newt Gingrich trail, with 10 percent and 8 percent, respectively. The poll showsMr.Giulianigarnering26percent to Mr. McCain’s 25 percent.