US rivals' last push in key state

US presidential hopefuls have been out campaigning in New Hampshire in a final push for votes ahead of the state's crucial primary on Tuesday.

They are holding a punishing round of meetings and rallies as they seek to become their party's candidate in November's presidential election.

The latest polls in New Hampshire put Barack Obama well ahead of Hillary Clinton in the Democratic battle.

Among Republicans, surveys indicate John McCain is leading in the state.

A poll released on Monday put Senator Obama, who is riding a wave of popularity since his victory in Iowa, 10 points ahead of Senator Clinton - the third survey to give him a commanding lead in the past two days.

The Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby poll gave Mr Obama 39%, Mrs Clinton 29%, and John Edwards 19%.

Mr Obama began his day of campaigning with an early morning appearance at a school gym in Claremont.

"You're the wave and I'm riding it," he said to the cheering supporters.

Mr Edwards, who pushed Mrs Clinton into an unexpected third place in Iowa, had 10 stops planned after an all-night bus tour of the state.

Meanwhile, Mrs Clinton had several events scheduled including at a high school and coffee shop, where she pushed her message in a softer, more reflective manner.

"This is very personal for me - it's not just political, it's not just public... And some people think elections are a game; they think it's like who's up or who's down," she said.

"It's about our country and it's about our kids' futures - and it's really about all of us together, you know?"

She has vowed to "go on" whatever Tuesday's result.

While Iowa and New Hampshire - the earliest contests - do not necessarily produce a winner from either campaign, they can boost contenders' chances ahead of primaries in larger states.

Another defeat at this stage would be regarded as a serious blow to Mrs Clinton's hopes of becoming the Democratic Party's presidential candidate.

In the Republican race, state front-runner Senator McCain, who came fourth in Iowa, appeared at a series of events headlined "Mac is back".

Mr McCain, whose campaign seemed at one point to be floundering, told reporters: "I always believed we could win."

The BBC 's Kevin Connolly in New Hampshire says Mr McCain appears to be benefiting from a weekend outbreak of squabbling between his rivals - but the race between them, overall, remains wide open.

Former Arkansas governor Mick Huckabee, who won last week's vote, sampled a "Huckaburger" in Concord before appearing at a "chilifest" in Rochester, alongside his celebrity supporter Chuck Norris.

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who trailed Mr Huckabee in Iowa, made a series of visits including to a rotary club and the Timberland company HQ in Stratham.

Mr Romney said he expected to win Tuesday's vote: "Right now it's a neck-and-neck race but with the debate last night and the support I received I anticipate winning."

On Sunday, the Republican candidates sparred over tax and spending records.

The Reuters/Zogby poll gave Mr McCain 34%, five points ahead of Mr Romney.

Mr Huckabee was on 14%, while former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani was polling fourth on 9%, with Ron Paul fifth on 6%.

The Republican national front-runner, Mr Giuliani, has not campaigned vigorously in the early stages of the primary season, preferring to focus on larger states later on.

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