Romney tops NH poll, Perry in fourth place

A new poll out of New Hampshire shows former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney leading the GOP presidential field.

The Suffolk University/7 News (WHDH-TV) poll of likely GOP voters shows Romney at 41 percent with Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) coming second with 14 percent support.

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Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), who leads in most national polls, finished a distant fourth place with 8 percent of votes.

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who trails in national polls, came in third.

Romney and Huntsman both have made New Hampshire the centerpiece of their campaigns' strategy while Perry has focused more on Iowa and South Carolina.

Romney was viewed favorably by 69 percent and unfavorably by 20 percent of New Hampshire voters. Perry had a favorable rating of 36 percent with a 32 percent unfavorable.

Huntsman had 10 percent while Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.) tallied 5 percent.

Romney though has faced strong criticism from Tea Party groups who have targeted him in the state. FreedomWorks, a national Tea Party group protested a speech he delivered at an event in Concord, N.H., last week. The Suffolk poll found that 48 percent of respondents identified themselves as Tea Party supporters.

Fifty-seven percent of voters identified jobs and the economy as the most pressing issue facing the nation.

The survey of 400 likely Republican voters was conducted from Sept. 18 to 20. The poll has a 5 point margin of error.

— This post was updated at 10:52 a.m.