The phenomenon of these two states is clear when you consider the polling data that’s coming out of both.
New Hampshire has a more national feel because it’s an open primary. People can cross party lines and vote for whoever they like. McCain was boosted by New Hampshire in 2000. He was doing well until he hit Iowa and South Carolina, where the Republicans rejected him. The reason he did so well in New Hampshire was the reason he’s been such a powerful senator– he appeals to the Right and the Left. The New Hampshire primary is more of a gauge of national sentiment than political sentiment, which then bring us to Iowa.
Iowa runs a caucus, which falls on party boundaries. Only Republicans can vote for Republicans and only Democrats can vote for Democrats. It’s a much better sensor for who’s winning the hearts and minds of their party, but it doesn’t reflect how people are being affected on a national scale.
So let’s look at the New Hampshire voting and see who’s winning: (The poll goes Romney, Giuliani, McCain, Huckabee, Paul and Thompson. Sorry for the poor image quality.)
|RCP Average||10/26 – 11/12||32.4||19.8||16.0||7.0||5.4||5.0||Romney +12.6|
|CBS News/NY Times||11/02 – 11/12||34||16||16||6||8||5||Romney +18.0|
|Boston Globe||11/02 – 11/07||32||20||17||5||7||3||Romney +12.0|
|Marist||11/02 – 11/06||34||23||14||7||7||5||Romney +11.0|
|Rasmussen||11/05 – 11/05||32||17||16||10||4||7||Romney +15.0|
|American Res. Group||10/26 – 10/29||30||23||17||7||1||5||Romney +7.0|
Well, that’s a surprise! (The formatting from a cut & paste from Real Clear Politics, not the results. Nice cod, guys!)
Romney’s got a strong lead, but Ron Paul has 5 percent of the vote? RON PAUL!? That would be independnuts voting. It’s clear from in-party polling that Ron Paul has little support. But this should be a wake up call– an independent run from Ron Paul could certainly hurt a GOP candidate.
Let’s look at Iowa:
|RCP Average||10/17 – 11/12||30.2||17.4||13.4||9.8||7.8||3.5||Romney +12.8|
|Strategic Vision (R)||11/09 – 11/12||30||19||12||11||7||5||Romney +11.0|
|CBS News/NY Times||11/02 – 11/12||27||21||15||9||4||4||Romney +6.0|
|Zogby||11/06 – 11/07||31||15||11||10||8||4||Romney +16.0|
|ARG||10/26 – 10/29||27||19||16||8||14||1||Romney +8.0|
|Univ. of Iowa||10/17 – 10/24||36||13||13||11||6||—||Romney +23.0|
Huckabee is making a strong showing amongst social conservatives who think he’s got the socially conservative goods. Really, people. Do your research. The fact that Huckabee has surpassed Rudy is a surprise, but as we’ve all suspected, Rudy has real problems with social conservatives. It’s not wonder they’re flocking to the Huck. (But why not the Fred!? Two words — better campaigning.)
Now on the Democrat side in New Hampshire:
|RCP Average||10/26 – 11/12||–||36.8||23.0||12.6||7.0||Clinton +13.8|
|CBS News/NY Times||11/02 – 11/12||279 LV||37||22||9||6||Clinton +15.0|
|Boston Globe||11/02 – 11/07||400 LV||35||21||15||10||Clinton +14.0|
|Marist||11/02 – 11/06||658 LV||38||26||14||6||Clinton +12.0|
|Rasmussen||11/05 – 11/05||628 LV||34||24||15||8||Clinton +10.0|
|American Res. Group||10/26 – 10/29||600 LV||40||22||10||5||Clinton +18.0|
And in Iowa:
|RCP Average||10/17 – 11/12||–||28.6||24.6||19.8||8.4||4.4||Clinton +4.0|
|Strategic Vision (R)||11/09 – 11/12||600 LV||29||27||20||7||5||Clinton +2.0|
|CBS News/NY Times||11/02 – 11/12||319 LV||25||22||23||12||4||Clinton +2.0|
|Zogby||11/06 – 11/06||502 LV||28||25||21||9||3||Clinton +3.0|
|American Res. Group||10/26 – 10/29||600 LV||32||22||15||7||5||Clinton +10.0|
|Univ. of Iowa||10/17 – 10/24||306 LV||29||27||20||7||5||Clinton +2.0|
Not a clear Hillary victory. It’s hard to say her performance in the last debate hurt her so much as the men are starting to work into her lead. I hope those Edwards numbers aren’t blips– there’s no way that guy can win a national election.
But don’t fret, Hillary zombies. The Clintons are amazing at digging up political dirt. I’m sure we’ll see a few bombs dropped on Obama and Edwards in December that will solidify her nomination.