Romney Maintains Big Lead in New Hampshire

Romney Maintains Big Lead in New Hampshire

By Caitlin Huey-Burns - July 5, 2011

Mitt Romney continues to lead the Republican presidential field in New Hampshire by double digits while Michele Bachmann, who announced her candidacy just over a week ago, sits in second place in the latest WMUR Granite State poll.

Among likely Republican primary voters, 35 percent back Romney while 12 percent support Bachmann. The former Massachusetts governor led the Minnesota congresswoman by 25 points in a Suffolk University/7NEWS poll released last week. According to the Granite State poll, the two front-runners have the highest favorability ratings of all the candidates: 68 percent of primary voters have a favorable opinion of Romney while 52 percent view Bachmann favorably.

Texas Rep. Ron Paul and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani are tied with 7 percent support. Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who hasn't announced whether he will make a White House bid, received 4 percent support. Former Minnesota Gov. Pawlenty, who has been campaigning for several months, tied former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin with 3 percent. Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who, like Romney, was in New Hampshire over the holiday weekend, garnered 2 percent support, tying with former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson each received 1 percent. Palin, Huntsman, Gingrich and Paul were among the least popular Republicans. Nearly a quarter of Republicans say they would not vote for Palin under any circumstances, while 16 percent said the same about Gingrich.

Still, the race remains unsettled. Seventy-five percent of likely GOP voters in New Hampshire say they are still trying to decide who to vote for in the primary. Seventeen percent have an idea and are leaning toward a candidate, but only 8 percent say they have definitely decided.

In a head-to-head matchup with President Obama, Romney leads, 47 percent to 43 percent, among likely general election voters. Romney has led Obama in every Granite State poll taken since February. Obama trumps Pawlenty, 47 percent to 38 percent, and Bachmann, 47 percent to 41 percent.

The poll was conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center from June 21 to July 1. Among the 773 adults surveyed, 357 were likely Republican primary voters. The margin of error for the survey is plus or minus 3.5 percent and plus or minus 5.2 percent for Republican voters.

Caitlin Huey-Burns is a congressional reporter for RealClearPolitics. She can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @CHueyBurnsRCP.

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