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Hillary's New Hampshire Firewall

The Washington Post just went live with a New Hampshire poll that has good news and bad news for Hillary. The bad news: The poll, which could obviously be an aberration, shows Hillary with a mere six-point lead over Obama (versus roughly a 12-point lead in the New Hampshire index). The good news:

Clinton takes into the final stretch may be that more than half, 53 percent, of her supporters in New Hampshire said they will "definitely" back her in January, and nearly six in 10 are "very enthusiastic" about voting for her. Far fewer of Obama's or Edwards's supporters are either that committed or excited about their top candidate.

While there's no such thing as a "momentum-proof" lead, contra the Giuliani campaign, Hillary's base of support in New Hampshire has to be reassuring. Given the intensity of her support, if she can mantain a double-digit lead in New Hampshire going into January, she can probably win the state even if she comes in second in Iowa. (And maybe even if she comes in third, as long as Obama doesn't take first. Though, as a reader points out in response to my previous post, Hillary in third will be a huge, damaging story even if Obama doesn't win the caucuses.)

--Noam Scheiber