Romney flexes muscle in first NH Primary poll while Palin and others lag behind

Former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney holds a commanding lead in New Hampshire in the early stages of the race for the 2012 Republican Presidential nomination, according to a new survey commissioned by NH Journal and conducted by Magellan Strategies. The survey is the first statewide survey of Granite State Republicans and Republican-leaning independents in 2011.

Romney leads former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin by 23 points, with Romney earning 39% and Palin earning 16%. Mike Huckabee (10%), Newt Gingrich (8%), Texas Congressman Ron Paul (7%), former MN Gov. Tim Pawlenty (4%), Rick Santorum (3%) and MS Gov. Haley Barbour (1%) all trail significantly behind. Romney finished second to Sen. John McCain in the 2008 New Hampshire Republican Presidential primary.

None of the candidates in the survey have publicly announced their candidacy for president but all have said they are seriously considering a bid.

Despite her ballot position, Palin is very popular with Republican voters. 59% view her favorably while 31% have an unfavorable view of her. More Independents (50%) have a favorable view of her than and unfavorable view (41%). This data reflects Independent voters who say they are likely to vote in the Republican presidential primary.

Romney appears popular with all subgroups of the Republican electorate. Large percentages of seniors (76%), social conservatives (76%) and fiscal conservatives (76%) hold favorable views of him. Romney has struggled with social issues, such as abortion, in the past and many conservative pundits have speculated that his health care plan in Massachusetts could cause problems for him on the right. Nevertheless, Granite State Republicans are very comfortable with him as the presidential campaign season officially opens.

Huckbee and Pawlenty are also viewed substantially more favorably than not. Gingrich, Santorum and Barbour have relatively higher unfavorable ratings.

In a memo released about the survey, Magellan pollster David Flaherty stated, “This survey is a very early measurement of the potential 2012 Republican Presidential primary field. Mitt Romney’s strength is not surprising considering his close second place finish to John McCain in 2008 and his regional advantage of being a former border state Governor. Many political observers have commented on the “late” start of the 2012 Presidential primary campaign in comparison to the 2008 Presidential primary. We agree with this observation, and view the survey results as an “uninformed” snapshot of likely New Hampshire Republican Presidential primary voter opinion.”

The survey was conducted on Tuesday, January 4th from 6:00 to 8:00pm using automated telephone calls to a sample of 1,451 voters randomly drawn from a New Hampshire voter file among households containing at least one registered Republican or independent voter. Independent voters were screened for their intention to vote in the 2012 Republican Presidential primary. The response data was weighted to reflect past Republican primary voting demographics from the 2008 Republican Presidential primary election. Three attempts were made to interview each household in the sample. This survey has a margin of error of 2.57% at the 95 percent confidence interval.

Note: NH Journal editorial board member Patrick Hynes is a consultant to Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s PAC.

NHJ New Hampshire 2012 Republican Presidential Primary Survey Topline Results

Author: Staff Reporter

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  • Md Mohiuddin72


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  • Robert Burns

    Why this is bad for Mitt

    1.He has nowhere to go but down

    2.He will be the biggest target for the next year

    3.If his numbers continue to stay this high, this will be like Iowa 1996 (Tom Harkin) and candidates will ignore NH

    4.Or someone could come close and second becomes the new first. Ever heard of Paul Tsongas

  • GreatScott

    Romney was the architect of Taxachuessettes-Care. Americans are just plain ignorant. This guy is another paid political hack for sale to the highest bidder.

  • MikePortsmouth, NH

    Ron Paul’s fidelity to the Constitution and adherence to limited government makes him the only candidate worthy of my vote. In his 20+ years of public service he has been a steadfast proponent of personal liberty, sound money, free markets, and a non interventionist (not isolationist) foreign policy. He is the only candidate with the philosophy, vision, and ability to right the sinking ship that is America. Your vote in 2012 for Ron Paul will be a vote to return this country to the principles that once made this Republic great.

    Brief Overview of Congressman Paul’s Record:

    He has never voted to raise taxes.
    He has never voted for an unbalanced budget.
    He has never voted for a federal restriction on gun ownership.
    He has never voted to raise congressional pay.
    He has never taken a government-paid junket.
    He has never voted to increase the power of the executive branch.

    He voted against the Patriot Act.
    He voted against regulating the Internet.
    He voted against the Iraq war.

    He does not participate in the lucrative congressional pension program.
    He returns a portion of his annual congressional office budget to the U.S. treasury every year.

  • Blonduxo

    So they have learned nothing since the last election? People of New Hampsire please do your homework.

    Ron Paul 2012

  • B2bdown

    I thought New Hampshire was full of independents? Voting for the establishment dog does not seem very “independent” to me. Sounds very fishy.

  • Matt

    Why do Americans keep cheering on these political figures that our manipulated media delivers to us – go Dr. Paul and others like you….principle over reality TV!

  • Blutstein42

    Congressman Ron Paul is the perfect candidate to go up against Obama in the next election. He is principled and you will never find another member of Congress with a better voting record then the one he has put forward in his 20+ years serving this great country.

    Ron Paul saw the US edging back towards war with Iraq back in 1997 and started speaking against it then. When everyone else was gun-ho to start another war with Iraq, Ron Paul took the proper Conservative approach and voted against it (War is never a Conservative ideal, more so if it is not in Defense). In 2003 Ron Paul saw the US Housing Bubble forming and spoke out against it. All during the 2008 election cycle he warned us repeatedly of the coming economic pain if we didn’t change our ways.

    Shouldn’t our next president be someone who has been proven right by history over and over again? Shouldn’t we have a visionary as a leader?

  • Mary Nau

    Ron Paul would be my choice.

  • angela

    Romney the father of Obamacare, are people dumb enough to vote for him?

  • Dianedavis1205


    True blue conservatives put principles above party and do not want to vote for the “lesser of two evils”. To them, that is not a true choice. Tthe election of Barack Obama as President of the United States should have proved beyond all doubt that conservatives will NEVER, EVER LOWER STANDARDS.

    I personally have no objection to a Mormon President of the United States if he is a credible conservative. However, conservatives must deal with the reality that there are many true blue conservatives who consider the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon)to be a non-Christian cult and for that reason alone would not vote for Mitt Romney