Did Edwards Slip Help Clinton In New Hampshire?

03/28/2008 02:45 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Stuart Rothenberg Political Wire

While some will suggest that Sen. Hillary Clinton's New Hampshire victory can be traced to her emotional comments shortly before the primary, and others will credit Bill Clinton, there is some evidence to suggest that the collapse of the John Edwards campaign in the Granite State may have given Clinton a victory that multiple polls promised would go to Sen. Barack Obama.

Edwards's weak 17% showing in New Hampshire was a significant drop from his 30% finish in Iowa just a few days earlier. (It's probably more accurate to conclude that Edwards drew 23% or 24% in Iowa, not 30%, since that's what the Iowa entrance poll found. Edwards undoubtedly benefited in the caucuses from realignment, which boosted his final percentage past Clinton, though more people went into the caucuses saying that they would support her. Still, Edwards's 6-point drop between the Iowa entrance poll and the New Hampshire exit poll is worth noting.)

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