Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Mike Huckabee Leads By One Point Over Mitt Romney In First Michigan Poll Since December; Allegations Of New Hampshire Vote Fraud Surface

A poll released on Tuesday night just hours after the New Hampshire polls closed shows former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee leading in the next presidential battleground state of Michigan by one point over former Massachusetts Gov, Mitt Romney. Full story published by Lifenews.com.

The survey, conducted by Rossman Group/MIRS/Denno-Noor and done after Iowa's caucus but before the New Hampshire primary vote, included 300 likely voters on both the Republican and Democratic sides and the margin of error is plus or minus 5.8 percent. No explanation offered as to why neither total adds up to 100%.

Here are the Republican numbers:

Mike Huckabee: 23%
Mitt Romney: 22%
John McCain: 18%
Rudy Giuliani: 8%
Fred Thompson: 4%
Ron Paul: 3%
Duncan Hunter: 1%
Undecided: 13%

And the Democratic numbers (note that neither Barack Obama nor John Edwards are on the Michigan ballot):

Hillary Clinton: 47%
Uncommitted: 28%
Support A Different Candidate: 10%
Undecided: 10%

The poll is the first since the middle of December, when the Detroit News found Romney leading with 21 percent, Huckabee second with 19 percent and Giuliani in third with 12 percent. In fourth was McCain with 10 percent, while Thompson and Paul each polled in single digits.

"The Republican primary in Michigan is coming down to a three-way scrum between Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney and John McCain," Kelly Rossman-McKinney told MIRS news. "The real loser is Rudy Giuliani, who didn't even get to double digits here this time around, proving that being first out of the gate doesn't get you to the finish line."

While Mitt Romney and his supporters are undoubtedly disappointed in their second-place finish in the January 8th New Hampshire primary, Romney still leads the delegate count as presented by RealClearPolitics, and this count is what determines the nomination. Here's the latest Republican head count:

Mitt Romney: 30
Mike Huckabee: 21
John McCain: 10
Fred Thompson: 6
Ron Paul: 2
Rudy Giuliani: 1

And the Democratic head count:

Hillary Clinton: 183
Barack Obama: 78
John Edwards: 52

But now an additional spanner has been tossed into the works. Allegations of possible vote fraud in the New Hampshire Primary have surfaced, mostly driven by the Ron Paul camp, but also some apprehension expressed by the Barack Obama camp.

The main controversy centers around the New Hampshire town of Sutton. The head clerk of Sutton has been forced to admit that Ron Paul received 31 votes yet when the final amount was transferred to a summary sheet and sent out to the media, the total was listed as zero. The fiasco throws the entire primary into doubt and could lead to a re-count. In addition, while an entire family voted for Ron Paul in Sutton, when the voting map on the Politico website was posted, the total votes for Ron Paul were zero. Vote fraud expert Bev Harris contacted the head clerk in Sutton, Jennifer Call, who was forced to admit that the 31 votes Ron Paul received were completely omitted from the final report sheet, claiming "human error" was responsible for the mistake. The question is whether or not this is an isolated instance. The fact that Ron Paul's primary vote totals are far lower than his totals from earlier straw polls fuels this suspicion.

However, the report originates from Alex Jones' Prison Planet website. There are two other related stories from his website, HERE and HERE. However, any report from Alex Jones should require corroboration from another source; like Hal Turner, Alex Jones doesn't always allow the facts to get in the way of a good story.

However, Obama partisans are also claiming possible vote fraud, questioning the dramatic swing from Obama's large pre-primary lead to a Clinton victory in just one night. So a second source lends some more substantiation to the allegations, although no mainstream media outlet has picked up on it yet.

The claims of chicanery may yet prove groundless, as the final outcome actually correlated well with mainstream pre-primary poll averages as presented by RealClearPolitics.

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