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Be very careful when you see these New Hampshire polls

There's a new poll out in the Granite State done by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center.

We can expect to see a lot more of these in the coming weeks as the intensity of campaigning and interest grows for the expected Jan. 8 primary.

This one shows Hillary Clinton leading Democrats with 35%, Barack Obama with 21%, John Edwards with 15%, Bill Richardson with 10% and all the others in a single-digit bunch. For the Republicans, it shows Mitt Romney in the lead with 32%, Rudy Giuliani second with 20%, John McCain third with 17%, a surging Ron Paul with lots of money up from 2% to 7%, Mike Huckabee at 5% and all the others, including Fred Thompson, below that.

But that's not the most important data in this survey.

What's most important is the little-noticed numbers revealing that with slightly less than two months to go before the voting, 48% of Democrats and fully 60% of Republicans remain undecided.

Now that's a volatile setting, just made for stunning surprises in the nation's first primary vote.

--Andrew Malcolm

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The undecided will definitely play a HUGE part in the NH primary. One thing that is interesting is that Ron Paul has SHOT UP from 2% to 7%. Another thing interesting is that this poll was mainly taken prior to Dr. Paul's HUGE day on November 5th. That day made history for the GOP and definitely gave Ron Paul some much needed media. It will be interesting to see the new polls coming out after this one. I wouldn't be shocked to see Ron Paul in the double digits! I've also heard that are doing another huge fundraiser for Ron Paul. This one, they say, will blow out all others! We'll see!

Giuliani can only bring up 9/11 so many times. It's really getting tiresome. I don't think Pat Robertson endorsing him really helped.

Romney is trying to buy the Presidency. Sorry, but a Mormon cannot become President. That's just the way it is.

Obama thinks too much! He needs to just speak his mind and quit parsing every little word, trying to play out in his mind what the consequences of each sentence might be.

Clinton is too crooked. Planting questions in the audience was a dumb, dumb move.

Ron Paul will win New Hampshire, wait and see. Many people will switch their allegiance when they find out he raised more than any other Republican in the 4th Quarter.

The big fundraising day comiing is December 16th, the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party.

John Edwards can get those undecideds after winning Iowa, and charge for the nomination. The corporate media arwe trying to shut him out with negative coverage and ignoring him.

Obama's numbers are way higher everywhere people have seen him up close, so I think NH will be very close after he wins Iowa.

Things aren't looking so rosy for Hillary now that people are starting to remember the divisiveness of 1990s politics.

running at 5, 6, 7% in NH (depending on which poll you read), with 48% undecided and it being this early, how can you not at least INCLUDE Kucinich in an article like this? he is coming up almost as fast as Paul on the other side there. so what, is Huckabee at 5.00% and Kucinich at 4.98% in your poll or something, so you can honestly say that?

Gravel is a good candidate too, and he will show strongly in NH, you watch.

A Mormon cannot become President?

You do realize that many of the people who said they would not vote for a Mormon did so because they are liberal Democrats who realize most Mormons are conservative Republicans who may not serve their agenda?

Americans will vote for the best candidate, and at this point, Mit is the smartest candidate with the most to offer America. He is also the best choice for values voters.

Mitt will systematically win this Primary. He's already got leads in five of the first six states in a front weighted competition. The $100 million question is how much this momentum will carry him in the rest of the contest.

Yesterday, Mitt got endorsements from three more Florida sheriffs, who realize he is the only candidate offering substantive solutions to the issues they and America face. These may help him make gains on Giuliani in what may be the most important state in the early competition (after Iowa and New Hampshire.) If diverse Florida votes Mitt, the nation, where Mitt is barely known, will start to follow.

I can't imagine anything more bigoted than not voting for a Mormon. "My conscience just won't let me vote for someone with family values, faith in Christ, and high moral, health, and educational standards." Just because Mormons don't hold to the 2nd Century Nicene Creed about God not having a body, parts or passions and being unknowable does not make them not Christian or bad people. It's not like Jesus was there to have a say in the vote on the Creed himself.

Jed, how is it that Mit (Mitt?) is smarter than Obama? Obama's law professor, Laurence Tribe, endowed professor of constitutional law at HLS, summa cum laude in math from Harvard in 1962, says Obama is the smartest student he's ever had. So too say his colleagues at Chicago Law, Abner Mikva and Larry Lessig (whom some think is the smartest law professor around these days). And in Q1 and Q2, Harvard professors gave $ to Obama 51% of the time vs. Romney, 25%; google employees giving money were 65% to Obama, 0% to Romney; 42% of teachers giving money gave to Obama, and 9% to Romney; physicians, 29% Obama, 13% Romney; engineers 27% Obama, 13% Romney; students 39% to Obama, 13% to Romney; journalists 51% to Obama and 2% to Romney; and on and on. Romney beat Obama among people listing occupation:insurance, occupation:lobbyist, occupation:lawyer, occupation:oil&gas, etc.

Hey, I'm not anti-Mitt because I'm harsh on the Mormon. I was in love with that Marie Osmond when I was in high school. And she still looks great on Dancing with the Stars. But when there's a Jennie Garth around to do the Rumba, you have to vote for the better dancer.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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