In the new post-Iowa Caucuses world of politics, Barack Obama is now the front-runner in the New Hampshire Democratic primary, with Hillary Clinton in second place behind the Hawkeye State winner and John Edwards unchanged in third place, according to a poll released by FOX News on Monday.
Obama received a nice bump from his performance in the Iowa caucuses. Obama now captures the support of 32 percent of likely Democratic primary voters in New Hampshire, up from 25 percent in mid-December and Clinton receives the backing of 28 percent today, down from 34 percent (December 11-13). Edwards also received a bit of help from Iowa and is now at 18 percent, up from 15 percent last month.
The telephone poll was conducted for FOX News by Opinion Dynamics Corp. among 500 likely Democratic primary voters in New Hampshire from Jan. 4 to Jan. 6. The poll has a 4-point error margin.
• Click here to view full results of the poll. (pdf)
• FOX News Poll: McCain Makes Late Surge In New Hampshire—Takes Top Spot
On January 3, Obama won the Iowa Democratic caucuses and Edwards just barely outperformed Clinton to capture the second slot.
Registered independents can vote in either primary in the state of New Hampshire and more than half (55 percent) of this key voting group say they plan to vote in the Democratic primary. Registered independents are now more likely to support Obama over Clinton by 9 points; last month independents broke for Clinton by 6 points.
Obama’s support has also increased among young voters, although women are still slightly more likely to back Clinton. Obama edged out Clinton by 5 points among women in Iowa.
Even with the primary only two days away, 12 percent of those voting in the Democratic primary are undecided, and another 21 percent say they may still change their mind about which candidate to vote for on Tuesday.
Almost all of Obama’s supporters are confident he would be able to beat the Republican in November — 84 percent say so, up from 71 percent that thought so last month. Confidence that Clinton can win in November has stayed steady: 77 percent today and 79 percent in December.
The most important candidate attribute to Democrats in the Granite State is the ability to "bring about needed change," with almost four in 10 putting this above the having the "right experience" (24 percent) and "understands average Americans" (20 percent).
"Change" voters strongly back Obama (+26 points), while "experience" voters largely support Clinton (+37 points).
The most important issue to Democratic primary voters in New Hampshire is the economy, followed by the Iraq war and health care. These were also the top issues last month, although the economy has increased in importance and now taken the top slot from Iraq.