Sunday, January 6, 2008

Barack Obama Extends Lead Over Hillary Clinton

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton has lost even more ground to Barack Obama, as the win in Iowa has pushed him further into the lead. Obama has, according to the latest USAToday/Gallup Poll, surged to a 13 point lead ahead of Clinton in New Hampshire, the next state in which they are scheduled to go head-to-head.

"New Hampshire always has this insurgency bias," says Joe Keefe, a former state Democratic chairman who supports Obama. "The voters decide they're going to upset the conventional wisdom and, given the opportunity, they will change the page of history."

Hillary Clinton aides say they have what it takes to keep moving forward, no matter what happens in New Hampshire. "President Clinton lost the first five states" in 1992, notes Mark Penn, Hillary Clinton's chief strategist, "and he not only won the nomination but the presidency."

In December, Democrats in New Hampshire said with a 47% - 26% differential that Hillary had the best chance of winning in November. Now, that difference has shrunk to 45% - 34%.

"After Iowa, electability comes down to this: Winners win and losers lose, and that's about it," says Dante Scala, a political scientist at the University of New Hampshire.

Obama and Clinton both have the same support among Democrats, but Obama leads 2- 1 among independents. Female voters in the state are split, but Obama leads with males 2 - 1. Surprisingly, Obama lead handily among females in the Iowa primary.

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