FOX News Poll: New Hampshire Democratic Primary Voters Want Change in Washington

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Democratic primary voters in New Hampshire are looking for change; for many voters this represents not just a change in the party in the White House, but changing the way things work in Washington, according to a FOX News Election Day poll.

Sixty percent of voters in the Democratic primary want to change the way things work in Washington, and these voters supported Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton by a 42 to 31 margin.

The poll consisted of 800 telephone interviews with Democratic primary voters in New Hampshire, conducted the evening of January 7 and throughout election-day on January 8.

Over half of Democratic primary voters (52 percent) would be very satisfied if Obama wins the Democratic party’s presidential nomination. The same is true of 41 percent if Clinton wins the nomination, and 32 percent if John Edwards wins the nomination. About one-in-eight Democratic primary voters (13 percent) voted for George W. Bush in the general election in 2004. These voters supported Obama over Clinton by nearly a two to one margin, 50 percent to 27 percent. Obama also received the support of many new voters, who did not vote in the 2004 general election; 12 percent of Obama voters did not vote in the 2004 general election, compared to 6 percent of Clinton voters.

Clinton did well among voters who are particularly concerned with the economy. For example, 36 percent of Democratic primary voters said the economy was extremely important in deciding their vote; these voters supported Clinton over Obama by a slim margin, 39 percent to 35 percent. Fully 81 percent of New Hampshire Democratic primary voters say that they feel like the economy is getting worse for them and their families, and these voters were divided between Clinton and Obama, with 37 percent supporting Obama and 36 percent supporting Clinton. Obama did extremely well among those voters who say that the economy is either staying the same or getting better for them and their families, beating Clinton by more twenty points among these voters.

Nearly one-third (29 percent) of Democratic primary voters said they think Hilary Clinton has practiced dirty politics more than any other Democratic candidate, and Obama won 66 percent of these voters. Only 7 percent said Obama practiced dirty politics the most. Over half (53 percent) did not name any candidate as practicing dirty politics the most among Democratic candidates.

FOX News/Opinion Dynamics Election Day Poll Methodology

The FOX News/Opinion Dynamics New Hampshire primary Election Day poll was carried out on January 7 and 8, 2008 using standard statistical methods to select a representative sample of likely voters and voters who had already cast a ballot. Interviews were conducted by telephone Monday night prior to the election and throughout the day on Tuesday.

A total of 1,600 interviews were completed with New Hampshire primary voters—800 with Democratic primary voters and 800 with Republican primary voters.


The sample was developed using random digit samples of telephone numbers selected using the “probability proportionate to size” method, which means numbers from across the state were selected in proportion to the number of voters in each area of the state. A computer selected the first eight digits of an actual working number and then appended a two-digit random number to produce a random-digit dial (RDD) sample. An RDD sample allows for contacting not only listed and unlisted numbers, but also households with new numbers. Each respondent was screened to establish him/her as a registered voter. Respondents were asked if they have already cast a ballot. If not, interviewers screened for “likely voters” through a additional questions about voting intention. Respondents were asked which primary they had voted in or planned to vote in—those who reported voting in the Republican primary received one survey and those who reported voting in the Democratic primary received a different survey.


The RDD selected phone numbers were sent to the interviewers through computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) software. Both the software and human supervisors monitored each step of the interviewing process. While calls were automatically dialed, the system did not use predictive dialing so prospective respondents always found a live interviewer when they answered their phone.


For a sample of 800 interviews, the error due to sampling is plus or minus 3.5%. For example, when the survey says “47% of voters…” then chances are very strong that no less than 43.5% and no more than 50.5% of all voters would have responded the same way. In addition to sampling error, question wording and question order can influence poll results.


Generally, FOX News poll results are not weighted. The probability sample, if conducted properly, should accurately reflect attitudes within each area. However, particularly because the survey was conducted over a short period (limiting the opportunity for callbacks), some demographic deviation is possible. For this reason minor weights were applied to bring the sample into conformity with know information about the electorate.