Richardson Rising in New Hampshire
by Ken Camp
Good news out of New Hampshire for Governor Bill Richardson. A new WMUR/CNN poll has Richardson making the biggest gain among the Democratic candidates, as Hillary Clinton dropped seven points.
Richardson has made the most headway, surging from 6 percent to 12 percent.
"I have campaigned everywhere, shook so many hands and visited so many New Hampshire towns," Richardson said. "I love doing it, but when you see the fruits of your labor producing momentum, that's where I want to be."
Richardson said he thinks voters are making the connection that he's qualified to bring change to the country.
"What's happening in New Hampshire is they are seeing me as a candidate who has serious experience -- as a governor, as a diplomat and as a secretary of energy," Richardson said. "That I've been able to bring change." [emphasis mine]
Even better news for Governor Richardson is that 47% of the voters are still undecided on which candidate they'll be supporting. As with Iowa, things are fluid and won't really be solidified until the end. 47% undecided is a big number, and despite the traditional media's efforts to coronate a nominee, this race is far from over.
Update: Don't believe me yet? Then follow me over the fold for more of why Bill Richardson is gaining on his competitors.
So we've got two polls tracking an uptick for Richardson from 6 percent to 10 percent to 12 percent.
If the pattern holds, the New Mexican will easily overtake Edwards and could begin closing in on Obama by the time New Hampshire holds its first in the nation primary.
It is worth noting that, according to the polls, Richardson is now viewed as more experienced than either Obama or Edwards by the New Hampshire voters. His numbers are dramatically up in other categories, as well, especially on measures of trust -- the New Mexican now leads Clinton in this category. [emphasis mine]
Richardson's move into double digits in New Hampshire parallels his under-covered rise in the first caucus state of Iowa. While much of the discussion about recent polls from that state has focused on the news that Obama has moved narrowly ahead of Clinton -- they are actually in a statistical tie -- some of the most interesting movement in the first-caucus state has been toward Richardson, who is now at 11 percent.
As I've said before, it ain't over til it's over.