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Two-thirds of New Hampshire voters inclined toward Democratic presidential candidates in 2004 reject Hillary Clinton as a choice, according to an independent poll conducted by Marist College’s Institute for Public Opinion.


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Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y.

Sixty-eight percent said the New York Democratic senator and former first lady should not run for president in 2004, while 28 percent said she should get into the race. Four percent were undecided about Clinton. The former first lady has said she will not run for president in 2004. She has not ruled out running for the White House in 2008.

Only 37 percent of New Hampshire Democratic primary voters said they would be more likely to vote for a presidential candidate endorsed by her husband, former President Bill Clinton, while 29 percent said they would be less likely to vote for someone supported by him.

Former Vice President Al Gore and Sen. John Kerry are running about even as the front-runners, according to the survey. The poll had Gore, the party’s unsuccessful nominee in 2000, favored by 31 percent of Democrats and independents who say they may vote in the primary, traditionally the first in the nation. Kerry, from neighboring Massachusetts, had the support of 28 percent of the potential primary voters.

Potential New Hampshire primary voters were split on the prospect of another Gore candidacy with 50 percent saying he should run again and 44 saying he should not.

“It shows this is no cakewalk for Gore,” said Lee Miringoff, head of the Poughkeepsie, N.Y.-based polling institute.

Among New Hampshire voters who work in Massachusetts, Kerry led Gore, 37 percent to 24 percent.

The telephone poll of 425 registered Democrats and independents was conducted from Dec. 2 through Dec. 4 and has a sampling error margin of plus or minus 5 percentage points.

Gore, the former vice president, has said he will announce in January if he will again seek the Democratic presidential nomination. Kerry has formed an exploratory committee to boost his candidacy.

Among other potential Democratic contenders, only Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, Gore’s running mate two years ago, was in double digits in the new poll, with 10 percent.

The poll found Vermont Gov. Howard Dean favored by 6 percent of potential primary voters, Rep. Richard Gephardt of Missouri at 5 percent, Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota at 3 percent, Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina at 2 percent and the Rev. Al Sharpton of New York at 1 percent.

Fourteen percent were undecided.


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