Clearly, the numbers in the Republican and Democratic races in New Hampshire are different from what we had become used to over many months. Mitt Romney and Hillary Clinton are now trailing John McCain and Barack Obama. When did the lines switch? I took the average of multiple polls in the above-referenced realclearpolitics.com compilations and came up with the following:
|Earlier in December||21||32||10||16||7||3|
The numbers over Christmas, when no one was polling, changed sharply. McCain went up 10 points, Romney went down 5, and Giuliani fell 6. Why? Conversations over the extended-family Christmas dinner table? Probably no one will ever know. Note that there was no significant Huckabee bounce out of Iowa—and no negative bounce for Romney.
|Earlier in December||28||32||16|
Here the big change was an Obama bounce out of Iowa. Clinton's numbers were actually a little better after Christmas than before, Obama's a little worse. I don't take Edwards's slight rise to be of any significance; he seems to be clearly in third place in New Hampshire, and that's not a ticket to anywhere. I suppose he'll make an effort in Nevada (where he hopes for union-member support) and in South Carolina (where he grew up). But about half the voters in South Carolina will be black, and previous South Carolina surveys have shown him winning just about 0 percent support from blacks.