UNH poll: One tie, one near-tie

[Updated throughout]: Here are the New Hampshire results from the latest UNH poll for WMUR/CNN.

Republicans (+/- 4.7 points):

  • Mitt Romney -- 29 percent
  • John McCain -- 29 percent
  • Rudy Giuliani -- 12 percent
  • Mike Huckabee -- 10 percent
  • Ron Paul -- 7 percent
  • Fred Thompson -- 2 percent
  • Duncan Hunter -- 2 percent

Democrats (+/- 4.3 points):

  • Hillary Clinton -- 34 percent
  • Barack Obama -- 30 percent
  • John Edwards -- 17 percent
  • Bill Richardson -- 5 percent
  • Joe Biden -- 3 percent
  • Dennis Kucinich -- 2 percent
  • Chris Dodd -- less than 1 percent

UNH had a pair of polls in mid-December already showing the Republican race tightening, but this is the first of the UNH surveys to show McCain having caught Romney. On the Democratic side, the numbers have been bouncing around more (one of the last two had Clinton +12, the other Obama +2; a third, just before those, had Clinton +1), but the bottom line is the same: a close race.

More numbers:

  • 63 percent of the undeclared voters who passed the UNH screen to be likely primary voters said they will choose a Democratic ballot. That number has been as low as 54 percent and as high as 65 percent in the six UNH surveys since early November.
  • 55 percent of the likely Republican primary voters in the current survey said they had changed their mind about which candidate to support.
  • 47 percent of likely Democratic primary voters said they had changed their mind.
  • Despite the overall tie in voter preference, 38 percent of likely Republican primary voters said Romney has the best chance of beating a Democrat in November (vs. 25 percent for McCain).
  • McCain was judged best able to handle the war in Iraq (53 percent vs. 14 percent for Romney) and to handle terrorism (43 percent vs. 31 percent for Giuliani and 13 percent for Romney).
  • Clinton led Obama by 11 points among registered Democrats, 38 percent to 27 percent, and among women, 39 percent to 28 percent. In the last six UNH polls, Clinton's advantages in those two subgroups (both of which make up nearly 60 percent of the sample) have ranged from a low of 2 points to a high of 24 points among registered Democrats and from a low of 5 points to a high of 21 points among women.
  • 45 percent of likely Democratic primary voters said Clinton has the best chance to beat a Republican in November (vs. 22 percent for Obama); 50 percent said Clinton is best able to handle health care (vs. 17 percent for Obama and Edwards).
  • 41 percent said Obama is most likable (vs. 24 percent for Edwards and 17 percent for Clinton).