A new survey of likely primary voters in New Hampshire reveals that the races in both parties are shifting -- though in different ways. Both the Democratic and Republican frontrunners lead their nearest challengers by 11 points in this Marist College poll, but Sen. Hillary Clinton's advantage over Sen. Barack Obama is narrowing. Meanwhile, Gov. Mitt Romney is pulling ahead of Rudy Giuliani. In both races, the top two candidates appear to have pulled away from the pack. (And Fred Thompson? He seems to be going the way of Tommy Thompson -- his support has fallen to just five percent of likely voters, down from ten last month.)
More interesting are the issues motivating voters. Expect Republicans and Democrats to talk right past each other over the next year. Homeland security and immigration are two of the three biggest issues for Republicans; they rank at the bottom of Democrats' concerns. Health care is a big issue for Democrats but a yawn for the GOP. Iraq seems to be of diminishing concern to both parties, though it remains the most important issue for a majority (29 percent) of Democrats, while falling near the middle (11 percent) among Republicans.
The big surprise is where the partisans agree. The economy ranks second for all concerned in New Hampshire. It's the chief issue for 21 percent of likely voters in both parties. And taxes fall near the bottom. Just five percent of Republicans, and one percent of Democrats, will make it their top issue, compared to -- and this is just a rough estimate -- about100 percent of Entrepreneurial Agenda readers.
(On the matter of taxes, you might find a sympathetic ear at my colleague Norm Brodsky's blog.)
What do voters in Iowa think? Well, you can rely on a poll, or you can go to the Hawkeye State and ask them yourself. While Inc.com plans to conduct nationwide surveys in the near future, the Agenda is traveling to Des Moines later this month to convene a panel of small business caucus-goers and take their electoral pulses. Watch this space.
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