After two back to back debates this past weekend, front runner Governor Mitt Romney appears to be headed for a comfortable lead in New Hampshire, according to the latest and last Public Policy Polling poll (PPP). This is the last poll prior to the New Hampshire Primary. The latest poll has Mitt Romney leading with 35%, Ron Paul
second at 18%, Jon Huntsman at 16%, Newt Gingrich at 12%, Rick Santorum at 11%, Buddy Roemer at 3%, while Rick Perry brings up the rear with just 1%.
According to the poll analysis, both Santorum and Huntsman have some momentum, leaving the possibility for Jon Huntsman to move into second place ahead of Ron Paul, while Rick Santorum could overtake Newt Gingrich to move into fourth place. Most of the campaigns have moved on to South Carolina where the first in the south primary is bound to be a fight for survival. Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry must succeed in South Carolina if they are to continue.
Rick Perry, who returned to Texas to reassess his campaign after the poor Iowa showing, is hopeful to make a breakthrough in South Carolina.
New Hampshire will almost certainly be won by Mitt Romney, who has been polling above 35% in the Granite State. The battle will be for second place and there may still be some surprises. Whether or not Santorum’s message will resonate remains to be seen. In a state with fewer social conservatives, his pro life and anti gay marriage message may, at best, carry him into fourth place.
Super PACs, which have been supporting Mitt Romney, seem to have hit their mark, New Gingrich. The attack ads that flooded Iowa and New Hampshire have had their desired effect. Romney has continued to stay aloft, concentrating on the failures of President Obama, while Newt Gingrich was off message answering the attack ads.
Romney’s support has been remarkably consistent over the course of PPP’s three Granite State tracking polls, never straying from 35-36%. He’s the most popular of the candidates in the state, with a 60/34 favorability rating. And he also has the most committed supporters…85% of them say they’re definitely going to vote for him and when you look at the race just among those whose minds are completely made up his lead over Paul expands to 40-19.
The excitement in New Hampshire on Tuesday night will probably be the battle for second place. There Huntsman has the momentum. His support is up from 12% to 16%, while Paul’s has declined from 21% to 18% over the last week and a half. Huntsman’s favorability (55/30) is far better than Paul’s (43/51) and 13% of voters list Huntsman as their 2nd choice compared to only 5% for Paul.
All of these same arguments for Huntsman potentially overtaking Paul could have been applied to Santorum overtaking Paul on our Iowa poll last weekend and of course that’s what did happen PPP