Poll: Granite Staters to make own decisions in 2012; not looking at endorsements
New Hampshire’s famously independent voters aren’t exactly waiting around for politicians or media elites to make decisions for them as the 2012 Republican presidential primary gets underway. In fact, only 23% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say endorsements from major political figures are either extremely or very important, according to a new survey conducted by Magellan Strategies on behalf of NH Journal.
Seventy-four percent of respondents said such endorsements are only somewhat important or not important at all to their decision about whom to vote for in the Republican primary.
Endorsements from newspapers appear to be even less impactful, according to the survey results. Only 11% said newspaper endorsements were either extremely important of very important to their decision making in the primary. Eighty-six percent said these kinds of endorsements are somewhat important or not important at all.
The survey data may not always jibe with the real world. For example, the powerful New Hampshire Union Leader is a highly sought after endorsement. In 2008 the paper supported U.S. Senator John McCain and was especially harsh on former-Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney on its editorial page. Many seasoned political observers credit the Union Leader’s endorsement with helping to decide the outcome in that contest.
U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte leads all politicians among those whose endorsements might have the most impact. Twenty-four percent of respondents said that her endorsement would have the most influence. Sixteen percent said former Gov. John H. Sununu’s endorsement would be most influential (Sununu is publicly supporting Romney). Eleven percent said Ovide Lamontagne; Six percent said Rep. Charlie Bass; and three percent said Rep. Frank Guinta.
This survey has a margin of error of +/- 3.84% at the 95 percent confidence interval. The survey results are weighted based upon voter turnout demographics from the 2008 Republican Presidential primary.