Candidates Home In on NH Independents
Critical 45% bloc favors McCain, Obama; but many still undecided
By Sam Biddle,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 6, 2008 10:11 AM CST
Republican presidential hopeful, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., arrives at a debate watching party at a restaurant in Manchester, N.H., Saturday, Jan. 5, 2008. At right is Sen. Olympia Snow, R-Maine. (AP...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – As the battle for New Hampshire looms, would-be presidents are largely abandoning partisan rhetoric to court the state’s independents, who comprise 45% of the voting base there. The New York Times explores the far-reaching implications in this contest of unaffiliated voters, whose decisions will likely come right down to the wire.

The fight for independents is mainly pitched between John McCain and Barack Obama, though polls suggest that up to two-thirds of independents, who can vote in either the Democratic or Republican primary, will side with a Democrat. “It doesn’t necessarily mean that all of their positions are really moderate,” explains one independent, “but their rhetoric is more about unifying the country.”