McCain jumps in New Hampshire poll

WASHINGTON Thu Dec 20, 2007 4:36pm EST

Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain (R-AZ) arrives for a campaign stop in Hillsborough, New Hampshire December 17, 2007 where Senator McCain received the endorsement of U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-CT). REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain (R-AZ) arrives for a campaign stop in Hillsborough, New Hampshire December 17, 2007 where Senator McCain received the endorsement of U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-CT).

Credit: Reuters/Brian Snyder

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Arizona Sen. John McCain has surged in New Hampshire in the past month and is now tied with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in the state race for the Republican presidential nomination, a poll showed on Thursday.

The survey by the American Research Group found McCain, a strong backer of President George W. Bush's Iraq war strategy, had 26 percent support, up from 11 percent in a poll in late November.

He was tied with Romney, who had dropped 10 percentage points since the last survey.

New Hampshire is one of the hotly contested early primaries in the state-by-state process to pick the Democratic and Republican candidates who will face off in the November 4, 2008, presidential election.

Just three weeks before the January 8 vote, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani dropped to 16 percent from 22 percent, according to the poll of 600 likely Republican primary voters living in New Hampshire.

There was much less variation from last month's poll among Democrats. New York Sen. Hillary Clinton led the race with 38 percent -- a 4-point gain from November -- while Illinois Sen. Barack Obama stood at 24 percent, up 1 point.

The survey of Democrats also included 600 likely primary voters in New Hampshire. Both polls, taken Sunday through Wednesday, had a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

(Reporting by Deborah Charles, editing by David Alexander)

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