Latest Polls Show New Hampshire Races Will Be Close

By Jerry Miller | July 7, 2008 | 8:25 PM EDT

Manchester, NH ( - The day before New Hampshire voters cast their ballots in this first-in-the-nation-primary, the latest tracking polls show the Republican contest to be close, while Democrat Al Gore maintains a lead over Bill Bradley.

Two surveys show Texas Gov. George W. Bush and Sen. John McCain of Arizona in a statistical dead heat, while McCain has a 10-point lead in another survey and Bush is ahead by five points in yet another tally.

On the Democratic side, Gore leads Bradley by margins that vary from six to 11 percentage points.

A University of New Hampshire Tracking Poll, done for WMUR-TV and Fox News, shows Bush leading McCain 38 to 35 percent, with a four-point margin of error.

The same poll has Gore leading Bradley, 53 to 42 percent, with a five-point margin of error.

The American Research Group Tracking Poll puts Bush ahead of McCain, 39 to 34 percent, with a four-point margin of error, while Gore leads Bradley 51 to 45 percent.

The CNN-Gallup Tracking Poll has McCain leading Bush 42 to 32 percent, with a three-point margin of error, while Gore leads Bradley 51 to 45 percent, with a four percent margin of error.

A WHDH-TV-Zogby International survey has McCain ahead of Bush, 38 to 36 percent, while Gore leads Bradley 49 to 42 percent.

In each survey, publisher Steve Forbes runs a distant third, with 14 to 17 percent of the vote, while Alan Keyes has between six and nine percent. Republican Gary Bauer registers one percent.

Most pollsters agree the state's 270,000-plus Independent or undecided voters are the key to who wins Tuesday, especially for McCain and Bradley, who have targeted their messages to that group.

Party regulars, both Republican and Democrat, show strongly for Bush and Gore, respectively.