Monday, January 07, 2008

Groundswell for Obama leaves Clinton campaign on the rack

This article brillintly captures the "astonishing groundswell of support" for Obama in NH:

Groundswell for Obama leaves Clinton campaign on the rack

· Huge crowds flock to hear victor of Iowa caucuses
· Hostility to 'baby boomer' Bush sways young voters

Ewen MacAskill in Manchester, New Hampshire
Monday January 7, 2008
Guardian Unlimited,,2236573,00.html?gusrc=rss&feed=networkfront

An astonishing groundswell of support for the new Democratic frontrunner, Barack Obama, is threatening to sweep Hillary Clinton away in New Hampshire, which holds the first primary election of the 2008 presidential contest tomorrow.

In a matter of days, Obama has been transformed from a promising Democratic candidate into a phenomenon.

The normally staid state of New Hampshire appeared to be in the grip of Obama-mania yesterday after his win in the Iowa caucuses last week and his rousing televised victory speech.

A USA Today/Gallup poll published yesterday gives Obama a 13 point lead over Clinton. According to the poll, his support is at 41%, up from 32% in the middle of last month, Clinton is down to 28% from 32%, and John Edwards is on 19%, up from 18%.

A CNN/WMUR poll, also taken over the weekend, puts Obama on 39%, Clinton on 29% and Edwards on 16%.

Polls also show Obama leading Clinton by 2 to 1 among independents, who make up an estimated 40% of the New Hampshire electorate and have the choice of voting in either the Democratic or Republican primaries.

Thousands queued in the snow over the weekend outside schools, town halls and theatres to hear Obama, in the most public demonstration in America yet of a desire for change after two terms of George Bush. The crowds have played havoc with Obama's campaign schedule, delaying the start of his meetings by an hour or more and leaving him stranded in traffic jams.

Obama's campaign manager, David Axelrod, described the crowds as inspirational, in spite of the logistical headaches. "We feel a lot of energy in New Hampshire. There is something special happening out there. I think we will do well in New Hampshire. We are in a strong position to win the nomination."

Reflecting Obama's new-found eminence, security round him has been stepped up.


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