There's a surprise frontrunner in New Hampshire for the GOP's 2016 presidential pick: a new poll puts former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney ahead the rest of the potential 2016 field by more than 2-1.
A Suffolk University-Boston Herald poll of 800 likely New Hampshire voters showed Romney would get the backing of 24 percent of the New Hampshire voters, reports The Boston Herald
With Romney in the mix, none of the other potential Republican contenders received double-digit support in the poll. The nearest possible contender, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, only netted 9 percent, the poll showed.
Romney, however, has been taking steps to become a "kingmaker"
in the GOP's fight for the Senate majority this fall and for the White House race in 2016, efforts that are fueling talk about a his making a third presidential run.
But insiders say he's more interested in shaping politics by lending his name and fundraising machine to the races, including a summit in Utah that allowed potential candidates to meet and pitch to key Republican donors.
"I don't think he's ever been more popular than he is today," said Spencer Zwick, who led a Romney campaign fundraising machine that raised more money than any Republican campaign in history.
So far this year, Romney has endorsed 29 candidates running for statewide office or Congress in 23 states, according to his office, and out of the 12 Republican who have had primary elections already, all have won their party's nomination to run in the general election.
Taking Romney out of the equation leaves the field of potential 2016
GOP presidential candidates without a frontrunner, the poll revealed. Christie and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul were tied at 11 percent support among 419 likely primary voters and Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz followed with 8 percent.
However, nearly one-third of the Granite State voters remain undecided, the poll showed.
The poll had bad news for Scott Brown, the former U.S. Senator from Massachusetts who's running for a Senate seat in New Hampshire. Brown is trailing Democrat Jeanne Shaheen 49-39 percent, with 46 percent of respondents viewing him unfavorably, according to the poll.
President Barack Obama's ratings also showed an all-time low in New Hampshire, The Globe reports. Only 39 percent of the voters approve of his performance, while 32 percent disapprove, reflecting his national poll numbers that are continuing to decline.
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