Polling In New Hampshire

Shawn Macomber reminds us why polling is not reliable in New Hampshire:

This is a notoriously difficult state to get a handle on. Look at the 2000 primary for example. Ten percent of those who participated in that contest did not register until the day of the primary, and, thus, were outside the purview of pollsters. Independent voters, who make up 38 percent of the electorate, can vote in either primary. In exit interviews, 47 percent of Democrats and 36 percent of Republicans did not choose a candidate until the week before the election. A full 15 percent of Democrats and 10 percent of Republicans said they did not decide who they would vote for until election day.

The pollsters are not much help this year. John Kerry is thought to have anywhere from a 3 to 21-point lead over Howard Dean. Lieberman, Clark, and Edwards all place third in one poll or another. Undecideds are making up right around 14 percent of likely primary voters.

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Erick Erickson

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