Poll: NH Republicans Favor Romney for President

Wednesday, 19 May 2010 10:52 AM

By Dan Weil

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New Hampshire Republicans support former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney by a wide margin against other contenders for the 2012 presidential nomination, according to a new poll.

The University of New Hampshire’s survey shows that 41 percent of the state’s Republicans would vote for Romney today, compared with 12 percent for former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and 11 percent for former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

As for the other top contenders, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee drew 9 percent, Texas Rep. Ron Paul 6 percent, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich 5 percent, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty 3 percent and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum 2 percent.

To be sure, 85 percent of Republicans say they haven’t yet decided whom they will support, with 7 percent saying they are leaning toward a candidate, and 8 percent saying they have decided who will get their votes, the poll says.

“Because primary elections are extremely volatile, any measures of voter preference this far in advance of the election are not indicative of the eventual outcome,” Andrew Smith, director of the University of New Hampshire’s Survey Center, said in a statement accompanying the poll.

On the Democratic side, 68 percent of likely primary voters now plan to vote for President Obama, 6 percent plan to vote for someone else, and 26 percent are undecided.

Among independents, 43 percent are leaning toward voting in the Republican primary, compared with 34 percent leaning toward the Democratic race.

Obama’s support is waning nationwide. The latest daily Gallup poll shows his job approval rating at only 46 percent.

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