New poll: Romney, Clinton still favorites among NH presidential primary voters

The first New Hampshire presidential primary poll since the midterm election is a reflection of what previous polls have shown – 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney is still the heavy favorite on the Republican side while former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in a league of her own among likely Democratic voters.


The poll for Bloomberg Politics and Saint Anselm College by the firm Purple Strategies was conducted more than a week ago, Nov. 12-18, among 500 likely general election voters, and separately among 407 likely Republican primary voters and 404 likely Democratic primary voters.


For the poll results, released today, click here.


With Romney listed as an option, he leads with 30 percent, while Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is second with 11 percent and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie draws 9 percent. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush follows with 8 percent and Dr. Ben Carson at 6 percent. No other potential candidates received more than 5 percent.


Without Romney in the mix – and he has said he does not intend to run — Paul and Christie lead a tight pack of candidates with 16 percent each and Bush is close behind at 14 percent.


Carson is fourth in the GOP field at 9 percent followed by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee at 8 percent, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan at 7 percent, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz at 5 percent, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal at 4 percent, Texas Gov. Rick Perry at a3 percent, “someone else” at 1 percent, “none of the above” at 4 percent and undecided at 13 percent.


Several potential candidates were not mentioned in the poll results, including Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Ohio Sen. Portman and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence. All but Walker have been to New Hampshire.


The margin of error in the GOP primary poll was 4.9 percent.


Among Democrats, Clinton leads Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who has said she does not want to run for President, 62 to 13 percent. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has been to the state often and is expected to launch a progressive, alternative candidacy, was favored by 6 percent, with Vice President Joe Biden at 5 percent, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick at 2 percent, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley at 1 percent, “none of the above” at 2 percent and undecided at 8 percent. The margin of error was also 4.9 percent.


A hypothetical general election matchup between Clinton and Romney shows a dead heat in New Hampshire, with Clinton at 46 percent, Romney at 45 percent and undecided at 9 percent.


Clinton would beat Bush, 47 to 39 percent, and she would defeat Paul in the Granite State, 48 to 41 percent, the poll shows.


The margin of error for the general election matchups is listed at 4.4 percent.


The poll also included favorable and unfavorable ratings for a long list of potential presidential candidates, but added to the list was Sen. Kelly Ayotte, who was viewed favorably by 47 percent of those polled and unfavorably by 27 percent. She is up for reelection in 2016.


By far, most New Hampshire voters of each party said that in the presidential primary, they will choose the candidate in their party who “most closely supports my positions on the issues,” rather than the candidate who “has the best chance of winning the Presidency in the general election.”


General election voters also leaned Republican when asked which party’s nominee is likely to have a positive vision for the future, be trustworthy, care about “people like you,” be able to cut through Washington partisan gridlock and have strong leadership to confront foreign policy challenges.


Favorable-unfavorable ratings


Among GOP primary voters, Romney received the highest rating with 77 percent viewing him favorably and 21 percent unfavorably.


Paul also had a strong showing, with 65 percent of primary voters viewing him favorably and only 19 percent unfavorably. Christie was viewed favorably by 50 percent and unfavorably by 32 percent, while Bush was viewed favorably by 61 percent and unfavorably by 24 percent and Ryan was viewed favorably by 61 percent and unfavorably by 14 percent. Huckabee was viewed favorably by 60 percent and unfavorably by 20 percent and Perry was viewed favorably by 51 percent and unfavorably by 23 percent. Cruz was viewed favorably by 41 percent and unfavorably by 18 percent and Jindal was viewed favorably by 36 percent and unfavorably by 11 percent.


On the Democratic side, Clinton was viewed favorably by 88 percent and unfavorably by 9 percent, while Warren was viewed favorably by 66 percent and unfavorably by 11 percent. Patrick was viewed favorably by 50 percent and unfavorably by 17 percent and O’Malley was viewed favorably by 14 percent and unfavorably by 10 percent.


Author: John DiStaso

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