Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Romney Tops NH Poll

Romney Tops NH Poll
June 12, 2007 4:06 PM

ABC News' Rick Klein reports: Former governor Mitt Romney, already leading in the latest Iowa polls, is now sitting on top of the presidential field in New Hampshire as well, according to the CNN/WMUR-TV poll released this afternoon.

Romney, R-Mass., is the favorite choice of 28 percent of likely Republican primary voters in the Granite State, according to the poll conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center. Rudy Giuliani and John McCain, who topped the survey in April with 29 percent, are both now at 20 percent, with Fred Thompson jumping from 3 percent to 11 percent.

This points to an interesting dynamic in the Republican presidential race: Though Romney is placing fourth in early national polls, he is now polling first in the two early-voting states that have historically been the most important. Romney was also the leading GOP fund-raiser in the first quarter, and his early organizing in Iowa scared Giuliani and McCain away from a summer straw poll that was once viewed as vital to all Republican candidates' prospects.

Another interesting tidbit from the poll: 32 percent of respondents found Romney to be the "most likeable" candidate -- the highest proportion among the Big Three -- while only 19 percent found him to be the "most believable" -- behind McCain's 27 percent and Guiliani's 21 percent.

Could it be that New Hampshire Republican voters -- who are intimately familiar with the former governor from the state next door -- know about his shifting positions on social issues but don't really care?

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