Polls: Romney Leads Big in New Hampshire, Iowa is Tight

Tuesday, 11 Oct 2011 11:19 AM

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Recent indications are that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has reclaimed his front-runner position in the Republican presidential campaign.

That development is confirmed by two new polls from NBC News-Marist which show him leading in the nation’s first two caucus/primary states: Iowa and New Hampshire.

In the Hawkeye State, Romney gets the nod from 23 percent of likely caucus voters, with businessman Herman Cain in second place with 20 percent support. Then comes Texas Rep. Ron Paul with 11 percent, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann tied with 10 percent.

To be sure, Romney’s advantage is within the poll’s 5.1 percentage point margin of error.

"Romney has a precarious lead" in Iowa, says Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, which conducted the survey.

Editor’s Note: Who's your pick for 2012? Romney, Cain, Perry? Vote Here Now.

Among tea partyers, who account for about half of the poll’s likely Iowa caucus voters, Cain has a big lead over Romney, 31 percent to 15 percent.

And those who "strongly" support the tea party back Cain over Romney by a 41 to 7 percent margin.

"That's a group that Romney has to fear," Miringoff says.

In the Granite State, Romney is much further ahead, with 44 percent support, compared to 13 percent for second place finishers Cain and Paul. Perry follows with 6 percent and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman with 5 percent.

"In New Hampshire, he [Romney] has a big lead any way you slice it," Miringoff says.

The polls for both states show that Republican voters are more concerned about candidates’ stances on the issues and their values, rather than electability and experience.

In Iowa, 30 percent of likely voters say candidates’ values are most important in determining their vote, 29 percent cite the issues, 20 percent say the ability to beat President Barack Obama is most important, and 17 percent say it’s experience.

In New Hampshire, 30 percent cite the issues, 28 percent say values, 22 percent experience, and 19 percent electability.

Obama is in trouble in both states, with an approval rating of 42 percent among all registered voters in Iowa, and 38 percent in New Hampshire.

In one-on-one matchups in Iowa, Obama leads Romney 43 to 40 percent and Perry 46 to 37 percent. The poll has a 1.8 percentage point margin of error.

In New Hampshire, Romney bests Obama 49 to 40 percent, while Obama leads Perry 46 to 40 percent. The survey has a 2.1 percentage point margin of error.

“These are two states that are in play for the general" election, Miringoff says. Obama won both of them in 2008.

Editor’s Note: Who's your pick for 2012? Romney, Cain, Perry? Vote Here Now.


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