Mitt Romney is favored to easily win the New Hampshire Republican primary according to a Suffolk University/7News poll that shows the GOP candidate with 43% of votes.
Following behind Romney is rising star Ron Paul with 14 percent and Newt Gingrich with just 9 percent of the vote. If polling numbers are correct even Jon Huntsman is showing an improvement over the Iowa Caucus with 7 percent of votes. Conversely New Hampshire voters appear to have very little interest in Iowa runner-up Rick Santorum who sits at 6 percent.
While the polling numbers might show an ideological shift towards Mitt Romney it should be pointed out that New Hampshire has a more moderate and liberal base, the type of voters who are more likely to vote for Romney. In fact four in 10 voters during the 2008 primary were listed in that category. “Very conservative” voters in the meantime accounted for 21 percent of the GOP electorate. In Iowa strong conservatives in the meantime turned away from Romney en masse, winning just 14 percent of their votes.
Romney also has a strong base in New Hampshire where in 2008 he defeated both John McCain and Mike Huckabee.
It also appears that very conservative Tea Party members according to the polling support Romney, that’s compared to just 19 percent of the same voter base in Iowa. Part of that shift could be found because both Rick Perry and Michelle Bachmann dropped out of the race, two candidates who received tea party support early in the process.
Along the lines of the Perry/Bachmann dropouts Romney may be having better luck with the states Christian base who may have been gravitating towards the uber-religious Rick Perry or the very conservative Michelle Bachmann. Even with religion on their side Romney may have continued to poll well, in fact he was in a dead heat in 2008 with Mike Huckabee, a man who also happens to be an ordained Baptist minister.
Santorum may very well be Romney’s version of Mike Huckabee this year, however his polling numbers even among evangelical Christians have been low.
While Mitt Romney may be polling well it’s important to remember that New Hamsphire polling is often wrong, in fact in 2008 Hillary Rodham Clinton took the state despite large polling leads for President Obama leading up to the states vote.
With 64 percent of voters in the Suffolk University poll saying they are “unlikely to change their mind” this looks like a closed case for Mitt Romney, then again you just never know in New Hampshire.
Who do you think will come out on top when voting in the state concludes?
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