Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Hillary surge in New Hampshire

Pundits love to bring up polls that offer unexpected results and claim that they mean something fundamental has changed in the dynamics of the race. The problem is those polls are frequently one shot deals taken by pollsters that only infrequently poll a certain state and so can offer no proof of a trend.

Today however brings news of a new CNN/WMUR poll out of New Hampshire showing Hillary Clinton with a whopping 12 point lead in the state. A week ago she lead by only one point over Obama in the same poll and three weeks before that lead by 14 points. While one can't know for sure, it's clear that this poll illustrates (rather dramatically) that Clinton's campaign, at least in New Hampshire, is back on track.

Another recent poll from ABC/WaPo of Iowa shows Hillary continuing to trail Obama by 4 points, unchanged from a month ago. This may seem not particularly notable, except that in the last month the media has been full of stories of an Obama surge in the state. While it's clear from looking at other polls that Obama's numbers did improve throughout November and early December in Iowa, considering that the only previous ABC/WaPo poll from Iowa (taken the week before Thanksgiving) showed the race essentially unchanged, it doesn't take Mark Penn to suggest that while Obama may have "surged" in the state, it's clear from this poll that his "surge" has subsided.

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