Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama

While Hillary Clinton was leading Barack Obama by three points in New Hampshire in a pre-Christmas Rassmussen poll, the front-runner has slipped in the latest survey following the Iowa caucus and now trails by 10 points.

The most recent Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of the N.H. race shows Obama with 37% of the vote and Clinton with 27%. John Edwards, with 19 percent support, is the only other candidate in double digits. Bill Richardson is the choice for 8% .

The survey indicates Obama leads Clinton by five points among Democrats and his lead jumps to 16 points among Independents. Forty percent of the N.H. voters will be casting their ballots as independents, according to the survey.

In terms of likability, Obama outpaces Clinton by 16 percent. Eighty-five percent of Likely Primary Voters have a favorable opinion of Obama. Seventy-eight percent (78%) say the same about Edwards and 69% have a positive view of Clinton.

Obama voters are more committed to their candidate than are Clinton’s or Edwards’. Eighty percent of Obama voters are certain he will receive their vote. Only 73 percent of Clinton voters and 64 percent of Edwards voters are equally committed to sticking with their candidate.

So, where do those not-so-sure voters go? Which candidate benefits from those supporters who switch in the end?

Again, the numbers heavily favor Obama and indicate Hillary is less likely to benefit from his weaker supporters while he is more likely to take hers.

Just 48 percent of Obama supporters have a favorable opinion of Clinton. Fifty-one percent have the opposite opinion including 22 percent with a Very Unfavorable opinion of her. On the other hand, 75 percent of Clinton supporters have a favorable opinion of Obama.

Weak supporters of Edwards are almost equally likely to go to the two front-runners, with 79 percent having a favorable opinion of Obama and 73 percent positive about Clinton.

Nationally, Clinton still leads in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll but the race for the nomination is closer to a tie in Rasmussen Markets data.

RasmussenMarkets.com is a “futures market,” not a poll, that uses a trading format where traders “buy and sell” candidates. The market correctly projected Obama and Huckabee as the winners in Iowa. WND has reported Rassmussens futures-market forecast has McCain and Obama winning in New Hampshire on Tuesday.

Clinton’s campaign troubles were fodder today for top Republican political consultant Mike Murphy, who compared them to those of 1972 Democrat front-runner Ed Muskie whose campaign collapsed following the N.H. primary, clearing the way for dark horse candidate George McGovern to win the nomination.

“President Clinton? Never gonna happen,” he told the New York ObserverObserver. “She loses here, but she keeps trying. She turns into Ed Muskie in a pantsuit. There’s your money quote.”

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