Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is maintaining his commanding position atop the field of Republican candidates for president in the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire, according to a new poll published in Christmas Day editions of the Boston Globe.
Romney leads with the support of 39 percent of likely GOP primary voters in his adopted home state, according to the poll, conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, are tied for second place, each at 17 percent. Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman runs fourth with 11 percent, breaking double-digits in the UNH poll for the first time.
The drop-off from the top four candidates in the poll is steep: Former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., is fifth, at three percent, and all the other candidates combined — Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer — account for four percent of the vote.
Romney’s share of the vote is down slightly from a UNH poll in mid-November, when he led with 42 percent. Gingrich has ticked up two points over that time, while Paul has jumped five percentage points since last month. Huntsman has improved his standing over the previous poll by three points.