Poll: Romney Retains Huge New Hampshire Lead

Mitt Romney. i i

hide captionMitt Romney.

Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images
Mitt Romney.

Mitt Romney.

Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

New Hampshire is giving Mitt Romney plenty to be grateful for, with a new Thanksgiving eve-poll showing the former governor of neighboring Massachusetts with a 27 percentage-point lead over his closest rival, Newt Gingrich.

The WMUR/University of New Hampshire poll of 413 likely Republican primary voters showed Romney with 42 percent of the vote compared with 15 percent for the former House speaker.

Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, whose libertarian views have strong appeal in the Live-Free-Or-Die state registered 12 percent support.

Meanwhile, Jon Huntsman Jr., the former Utah governor who served as U.S. ambassador to China before he quit the Obama Administration, garnered 8 percent support.

For Huntsman who has essentially staked his entire campaign on a good showing in New Hampshire, that was better than the support he has nationally, but that's not really saying much since nationally he barely registers.

While the poll indicated that Romney clearly has withstood the challenges from the series of Republicans who have sequentially risen in the polls as Romney alternatives, only to fall again, there was some bad news for him in the results.

Only 16 percent of those surveyed said they had made up their minds about their choice. So while Romney's support appears to be broad, it also appears not to be all that deep. That's surprising given how New Hampshire voters should be among those who know best the former governor from the state next door. Then again, maybe that's the problem.

Herman Cain and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, both of whom once had surging support in the Granite State, have seen that backing nearly completely evaporate. Each man got 4 percent support.

The pollsters also tested head-to-head general-election matchups between the candidates for the Republican nomination and President Obama. Romney slightly led Obama in a statistical dead heat, since the margin of error was four percent. Gingrich ran 12 percentage points behind Obama.

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