They gave John McCain the margin of victory in 2000, but this time around New Hampshire Independents are breaking from the Republican and toward Democrat Barack Obama, according to a Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll. As the Jan. 8 primary approaches, 61% on Independents say they are voting Democratic and more than twice as many back Obama as McCain.
"This big group in the middle ... has a chance to really transform the election," said a Republican strategist. The Iraq war is a major divide—Obama is against it and McCain has supported it. But Independents, who can vote in either primary, also tell the poll that issues associated with Democrats, like health care and the economy, also resonate.