Two weeks after speaking to a sell-out Manchester crowd of more than 1,600, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama is reaping the benefits of his visit. If the Democratic primary were held today, Obama would be in a statistical dead heat with New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, according to a new Monitor poll. Last month, a Monitor poll showed Clinton trouncing her opponents, with Obama lagging 23 points behind.
“I’m not surprised, because Barack Obama got five days of constant media attention in New Hampshire,” said Jim Demers, a lobbyist and former Democratic lawmaker who accompanied Obama throughout the senator’s New Hampshire visit. “Obama has demonstrated to the people of New Hampshire that he’s a top-tier candidate.”
Although Clinton commands considerable support among likely Democratic primary voters, she struggles in general election match-ups, according to the poll. If the contest were held today, both Arizona Sen. John McCain and former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani would prevail over Clinton. Obama, in contrast, would eke out a slight win over both Republican candidates. Former Democratic vice presidential nominee John Edwards is neck-and-neck with the Republicans.