Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Obama's surge in N.H. coming from rural areas

Sen. Barack Obama is closing the gap on Sen. Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire's Jan. 8 primary largely on the strength of rural voters, according to political analyst Al Giordano, writing in The Field, a rural-oriented blog about the early presidential contests, hosted by

The Dec. 10-11 poll by Suffolk University showed Clinton leading Obama 33 percent to 26 percent statewide, but Obama leading in rural western, northern and central New Hampshire. "The two populous regions that favor Clinton are seacoast Rockingham and southern Hillsborough [counties], which have many suburban bedroom communities to Boston and other Massachusetts cities, with Democrats and Independents that typically tune in to Boston TV and media, and represent 52 percent of the survey sample," Giordano writes. "The two regions where Obama leads are more rural and represent 48 percent of the sample."

Giordano suggests Obama's momentum will continue. He notes that Clinton's base includes many readers of The Boston Globe, which endorsed Obama on Sunday, and that the Illinois senator is also backed by U.S. Rep. Carol Shea Porter, whose 1st District includes key urban areas such as Derry, Manchester, Portsmouth and the state's Atlantic coast. The state's other House member Rep. Paul Hodes, has also endorsed Obama, and Giordano says that "may already be working its magic" in the rural areas. (Read more)

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