Obama & McCain Neck and Neck in Granite State


Barack Obama continues to be competitive in states that tend to vote Republican, according to a new Suffolk University/7News poll released today.  Obama (46 percent) leads John McCain (45 percent) in a tight race.
“Barack Obama continues to show strength in states that historically vote Republican for president,” said David Paleologos, director of the Political Research Center at Suffolk University in Boston.  “He appears to be benefiting from the Wall Street meltdown."

Statewide races

Meanwhile, in the race for New Hampshire governor, Democrat John Lynch was way out in front of  Republican Joe Kenney, 61 percent to 16 percent. In the U.S. Senate race, Democrat Jeanne Shaheen narrowly led Republican Sen. John Sununu, 41 percent to 40 percent, with Libertarian Ken Blevens securing 3 percent, 13 percent undecided and 4 percent refusing to answer. 

Impact of economic issues

New Hampshire has voted Republican in eight of the last 12 presidential elections, dating back to 1960.

The recent turmoil in the financial markets has not helped the Republican Party.  When likely voters were asked which political party, if any, deserved blame for the roiling economy, 36 percent blamed the Republicans; 14 percent blamed the Democrats; 34 percent said neither; and 15 percent were undecided.

When asked to consider media treatment of Sarah Palin, more likely New Hampshire voters said they believed the Republican vice presidential nominee is being treated harshly (37 percent) than fairly (29 percent). However, in a separate question, a majority (51 percent) said she was not qualified to step in as president, while 43 percent said she was qualified.

“You have a unique mix of empathy and doubt regarding Sarah Palin,” said Paleologos. “Most voters agree with the implication that she is not qualified to step in as president, yet they don’t condone the tone of news reporting.”

Voter forecast

Respondents said they trust McCain over Obama, 45 percent to 43 percent.  But when respondents were asked who they thought would be the next president, Obama led 47 percent to 37 percent.

Granite state voters said they believed, by a 65 percent-to-22 percent margin that New Hampshire will retain its first-in-the-nation Presidential Primary status in the year 2012.

The New Hampshire bellwether towns of Epping and Tamworth showed Obama (44 percent) leading McCain (38 percent). Green Party nominee Cynthia McKinney registered 2 percent, with 12 percent undecided and 4 percent refusing to respond.


The Suffolk University/7News poll was conducted Sunday, Sept. 21, 2008, through Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2008.  The margin of error on the study of 600 is +/- 4 percent at a 95 percent level of confidence.  All respondents from the New Hampshire statewide survey were likely voters. There were 221 respondents from the bellwethers of Epping and Tamworth, NH, identified separately from the statewide poll.  Marginals will be posted on the Suffolk University Political Research Center Web site at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 25, 2008. There will be 216 pages of cross-tabulation data posted on Friday, Sept. 26, 2008.  For more information, contact David Paleologos at 781-290-9310.

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Greg Gatlin

Mariellen Norris