Poll: Romney Has Commanding Lead in N.H.

Poll: Romney Has Commanding Lead in N.H.

By Caitlin Huey-Burns - September 22, 2011

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has an overwhelming lead in New Hampshire, according to a Suffolk University/7News poll of likely voters in the state's GOP presidential primary.

Romney has made the Granite State his primary target in his second run for the White House. Romney owns a home there and launched his presidential campaign from the state earlier this summer. He attracts 41 percent of respondents' support in the Suffolk poll. Texas Rep. Ron Paul places a distant second with 14 percent.

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman -- who has been languishing in the polls but is focusing his efforts on New Hampshire -- garners 10 percent backing, narrowly besting Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who comes in with 8 percent. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin picks up 6 percent, and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann attracts 5 percent. None of the remaining candidates polls above 4 percent.

Romney enjoys high name recognition and favorability ratings in the state, with 69 percent liking him and only 20 percent finding him unfavorable. Paul also has little trouble with name recognition. Forty-six percent find him favorable, and 34 percent dislike him. Perry receives a 36 percent to 32 percent favorability rating, though 11 percent have never heard of him. Huntsman has more of a struggle with name recognition. Voters view him in a positive light by a slim 26 percent to 24 percent margin, but 24 percent haven’t heard of him. Voters find Palin, Newt Gingrich and Bachmann more unfavorable than likeable.

Suffolk surveyed 400 likely Republican primary voters from Sept. 18-20. The margin of error for this poll is plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.

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

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