Kate Gibson has a Marketwatch report on a pair of NH polls that have pundits buzzing about an Obama Vs. McCain race:
Iowa caucus winner Obama and Clinton are backed by 33% of Democratic primary voters in the poll conducted by CNN and WMUR by the University of New Hampshire. A separate survey conducted for the Concord Monitor by Research 2000 had 34% of likely Democratic primary voters opting for Sen. Obama, D-IL, and 33% favoring Sen. Clinton, D-N.Y. Former North Carolina Senator John Edwards netted 20% in the CNN/WMUR poll, while the Concord Monitor poll had Edwards garnering 23% of likely Democratic voters.
On the GOP side, Sen. McCain was backed by 35% of likely Republican voters, while Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, was backed by 29% in the Concord Monitor survey, with Iowa caucus winner Mike Huckabee selected by 13%, and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani at 8%. The CNN/WMUR survey offered similar results, with 33% backing Sen. McCain of Arizona, and 27% supporting Romney. Huckabee was backed by 11%, with the former Arkansas governor trailing former mayor Giuliani, who garnered 14%.
Even though Obama and Clinton are in a statistical tie in both polls, such “polling numbers are like a snapshot of a moving train” as GOP pundit/consultant Michael Murphy ventured on Meet the Press. Open Left‘s Chris Bowers has post-Iowa poll averages for NH showing Obama with a 4.2 percent lead over Clinton. Says Bowers:
Obama is clearly ahead in New Hampshire right now. With only two days left and the momentum overwhelmingly on his side in the state, it is very, very hard to see how he doesn’t win New Hampshire.
In more good news for Obama, The Chris Matthews Show panel of a dozen pundits “Matthews Meter” is unanimous that Obama will be the nominee (as were Murphy and Democratic consultant Steve McMahon on MTP). So we have 14 pundits predicting Obama wins the Democratic nomination, and the two who ventured an opinion agree that McCain wins the GOP nomination. Not a bad Sunday before NH for Obama and McCain, who also got the MTP interview (as did Obama and Huckabee the Sunday before their Iowa victories).
Bowers cautions, however, that Clinton could still be ahead in delegate counts after Super Tuesday if she wins both Florida and California. Bowers explains:
Collectively, Clinton’s advantage in Super Delegates, Michigan, and February 5th home states provides her with roughly a 500 delegate advantage on Obama. If she were to also win Florida and California, which combine for 555 pledged delegates, it would be impossible for Obama to be ahead on delegates after February 5th. He could win every other state between now and February 6th, and never make up that sort of delegate deficit.
Get ready for a fierce month of Democratic politics.
UPDATE: A new CNN-WMUR poll, conducted Saturday and Sunday, has Obama leading Clinton by 10 points (m.o.e. 5).