The Boston Herald is reporting that recent polling in New Hampshire shows that John McCain has lost the support of Independents in the Granite State. McCain, “the maverick” always contended that he he was a better candidate because he appealed to broader audiences than more culturally conservative candidates. Not anymore.
John McCain is tanking,” says ARG president Dick Bennett. “That’s the big thing [we’re finding]. In New Hampshire a year ago he got 49 percent among independent voters. That number’s way down, to 29 percent now.”
“It’s significant that McCain is going down rather than up at this critical juncture in the early maneuvering,” comments Larry Sabato, who chairs the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics. “It suggests that, contrary to conventional wisdom, John McCain may not be secure as the GOP front-runner. But a lot can change.”
On the Republican side this bodes well for candidate who will have the easiest time deflecting themselves from comparisons to President Bush: governors mostly. Look for guys like Romney (though i doubt the NH independents like him) and Huckabee to build steam in NH, NV, and others…
But I believe this trend can hold for Democrats as well. New Hampshire is supposed to be the stronghold for Hillary Rodham Clinton, and of all the Democratic contenders, she has distanced herself the least from her initial vote to sanction the war in Iraq. Edwards has already repudiated it and Obama has never been in favor of it, so I believe that we could see a significant decline in Hillary’s polling data amongst Independents and Democrats if she does not do a better job of clarifying her Iraq position and opposing the McCain Doctrine.