Manchester, NH (CNSNews.com) - Former New Jersey Senator Bill Bradley is leading Vice President Al Gore in the latest New Hampshire presidential poll, while on the Republican side, Arizona Sen. John McCain picked up double-digit support on frontrunner George W Bush but the Texas governor still maintains a large lead over his challengers.
In another poll taken last month McCain registered only ten percent with likely voters along with Elizabeth Dole and Steve Forbes. In the latest survey McCain's numbers have jumped to 23.4 percent while Bush's slipped slightly from 47 percent to 43 percent. Perhaps more hurt by McCain's surge have been Dole and Forbes who have seen their numbers now slip to under ten percent.
The survey, released late Thursday and sponsored by Franklin Pierce College and WNDS-TV, shows Bradley with an eight-point lead over the vice president among likely Democratic primary voters.
According to the survey of 258 registered Democrats, who said they are likely to vote in the February 1st primary, 42.2 percent said they support Bradley, while 34.5 percent gave the nod to Gore. The undecided vote was 22.5 percent. The poll has a margin of error of 6.2 percent.
A month ago, the same poll showed Gore ahead of Bradley 44 to 37 percent.
On the Republican side, the poll shows Bush maintaining his lead over his GOP challengers with 43.3 percent, McCain at 23.4 percent, Elizabeth Dole at 7.5 percent, Steve Forbes with 6.3 percent, Patrick Buchanan at 3.6 percent, Alan Keyes at 2.8 percent and Gary Bauer at 2 percent. The number of undecided voters totaled 10.3 percent. The poll has a margin of error of 6.2 percent.
In a general election contest, Bush defeats Bradley 51.2 percent to 35.5 percent, with a margin of error of 4.2 percent.
Last month the poll showed Bush defeating Bradley 43.7 percent to 41 percent.
In the same general election survey, Bush defeats Gore 45.4 percent to 41.1 percent. The figure represents a statistical dead heat, since the margin of error is 4.2 percent.
Last month, the survey found Bush beating Gore 48 to 39 percent.
A Boston Herald poll of 403 likely Democratic New Hampshire voters, taken Tuesday and Wednesday of this week and released Thursday, was also good news for Bradley.
The survey found the former senator leading the vice president 39 to 37 percent. It was Bradley's first "win" among likely Democratic primary voters. However, with a margin of error of five percent, the contest remains a statistical tie.
The same poll, taken in June, showed Gore leading Bradley by 12 points.
Bradley showed strong support among independent voters and those with a negative view of President Clinton. By a margin of two to one, Bradley won the independent vote, while Gore scored well with traditional Democrats, who told pollsters they favor him because of his experience or his stands on issues.
The poll found a majority of New Hampshire voters believe Bradley would be a more effective leader than Gore.