With another high profile candidate in the GOP presidential primary field and the Ames Straw Poll in the books, attention is turning back to the votes that will really matter: key among them, New Hampshire. A new poll out on Wednesday shows that despite the recent shakeup in the race with the addition of Tex. Gov. Rick Perry, Granite State GOP voters are still behind former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney at the moment.
Romney is the first choice of 36 percent of GOP voters in the new survey sponsored by the New Hampshire Journal. Romney’s score is twice that of the next closest candidate, Perry, who polls at 18 percent. Following Romney and Perry is Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) with 14 percent, then Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) with 10. Businessman Herman Cain and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. both register 3 percent, with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at 2 percent and former PA Senator Rick Santorum rounding out the field with 1.Romney and Perry are also the only candidates who registered a majority in favorability ratings. Romney is view favorably by 66 percent of New Hampshire Republicans against 24 percent unfavorable, and Perry is viewed in a positive light by 51 percent against 27 percent. Bachmann comes close at 49 percent favorability, but is hampered by 39 unfavorability, and other candidates have much higher unfavorables. Gingrich registers the highest with 60 percent viewing him unfavorably, and only 29 viewing him favorably.
The Journal notes that Bachmann registers well with the base of the party in the survey, but falters with other groups. From the report:
The case of Bachmann is especially interesting. She remains very popular among self-identified conservatives with a 62% Favorable rating and a 28% Unfavorable rating. But it is a completely different story among Independents, 51% of who view her Unfavorably, while only 40% view her Favorably. The split in the voting public’s view of Bachmann demonstrates the uniquely complex texture of the New Hampshire electorate.
The survey was conducted by Magellan Strategies for the Journal and used automated interviews of 613 likely GOP and GOP-leaning independents conducted on August 15th and 16th.