Poll: Romney way ahead of GOP field in New Hampshire

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) enjoys more than triple the support of his next closest competitor in New Hampshire's Republican primary, according to a poll released Monday. 


Thirty-two percent of New Hampshire's Republican voters said they would support Romney in next year's first-in-the-nation primary, according to a CNN/WMUR poll conducted through last weekend.

That puts Romney well ahead of the poll's second place finisher, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), whom 9 percent of New Hampshire Republicans said they would support in the primary.

Six percent each said they would support former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R). Five percent said they would support former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R).

Five Republicans were tied at four percent: Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain, former Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R), and Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R), whose name was included in the poll results before he withdrew from the race on Sunday.

Two percent support former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) and 17 percent of New Hampshire GOP voters said they had no opinion at this point in the race.

Reflecting his advantage so far in the Granite State, Romney scored high marks from the state's Republicans when it came to opinions about handling of the economy and the budget, as well as his experience and leadership qualities.

But perhaps most importantly, primary voters saw Romney as the candidate best-equipped to beat Obama in 2012; 42 percent of Republicans named Romney as the candidate that has the best chance of beating Obama.

For the other candidates in the race, though, there was some silver lining: A whopping 87 percent of Republican primary voters said they had no idea who they'll vote for in next year's primary, meaning the field is still very much fluid.

The poll, conducted May 18-22, has a five percent margin of error among the sample of Republican primary voters.