Friday, September 17, 2010

Romney up big in NH

Mitt Romney continues to look like the overwhelming early favorite for the 2012 Republican primary in New Hampshire, leading with 41% to 12% for Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin, 10% for Mike Huckabee, 8% for Ron Paul, 5% for Tim Pawlenty, and 2% for Mitch Daniels.

The best news in the poll for Romney is that at least in New Hampshire he has a strong advantage with every different faction of the party. With voters who identify themselves as Tea Party members he leads Palin 36-18. He also has a 29-18 advantage over her with people who think the GOP's too liberal. At the same time he's up 47-15 on Gingrich with people who think the party's just fine ideologically and he leads Ron Paul 47-10 with moderates. It says a lot about where the Republican Party is headed that centrist voters think Paul is their second best option.

There's been a lot of talk in the aftermath of the Delaware primary this week about whether that's bad news for a Romney Presidential bid but at least for now, before millions are spent to attack him, he's looking pretty solid.

The New Hampshire primary is still almost a year and a half away but Romney's persistent dominant lead in the polling makes you wonder- if that holds is New Hampshire even going to be viewed as that relevant to the 2012 nomination contest? If his status as the rare New England Republican Presidential candidate makes it impossible for anyone else to build momentum there the state may just get written off with everyone reallocating their resources to Iowa, South Carolina, Nevada, and Florida.

But if there's anything we've learned this cycle it's that big leads in Republican primaries can evaporate quickly so Romney certainly shouldn't start counting his chickens yet.

Full results here

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Tom,

You do understand that the New Hamsphire GOP electorate is pretty different from GOP electorates in nearly other state, including Delaware.

A "conservative" in New Hampshire is different from a "conservative" in delaware and etc.

DBL said...

Mitt flip flops enough that he's whatever you want him to be. He's a conservative! He's a moderate! You name it. That's Mitt.

I've said all along that this nomination is Mitt's to lose. He had an amazing grassroots ground game in 2008 and should again in 2012. It's possible Huckabee or Demint may be able to challenge that now that Republicans are organized on a grassroots level. Still, I'd put him no worse than 2nd in Iowa. He should clean up New Hampshire. Nevada is a caucus state with a lot of Mormons. That should be a lock.

If he's got two firsts and a second, he can probably afford to cede South Carolina to Demint or Huckabee.

There is no current schedule after that, so no one knows what states are next, but he should be the frontrunner after the first four with only one or two challengers still in the race.

Dustin Ingalls said...

"Tom,

You do understand that the New Hamsphire GOP electorate is pretty different from GOP electorates in nearly other state, including Delaware.

A "conservative" in New Hampshire is different from a "conservative" in delaware and etc."

That's why he said "at least in New Hampshire."

"If he's got two firsts and a second, he can probably afford to cede South Carolina to Demint or Huckabee."

That may end up happening, but as of a few months ago, we had Romney in a statistical tie for first in SC, one point behind Gingrich and two or three ahead of Palin. He wasn't doing very well in Iowa.

NRH said...

Romney was doing well in 2008 until Republican primary voters got close enough to voting day to actually start paying attention. Until then, it's just "Oh, that guy with good hair? Sure!" I'm very skeptical of the value of presidential polls at this point - or at least skeptical of using them to declare anyone an 'overwhelming favorite.' 'Early leader,' sure.

The Interesting Times said...

I think Iowa is at least as likely to be written off as New Hampshire.

The Interesting Times said...

Did you poll the Republican Presidential primary in Delaware too?

DBL said...

Dustin, he doesn't have to do well in an Iowa primary poll, because there is no Iowa primary. There's a caucus. In 2008 Mitt Romney won every single caucus, but one. He finished second in Iowa. (Actually he finished second in West Virginia, but that was only after the McCain delegates switched to Huckabee.) Romney puts shoes on the ground and wins caucuses.

Romney only lost because Super Tuesday had several big states (e.g. New York, New Jersey, California) where McCain was popular and independents were allowed to vote.

Dustin Ingalls said...

"I think Iowa is at least as likely to be written off as New Hampshire."

Yeah, I believe Iowa is actually less predictive of the eventual winner than NH is for the GOP.

"Dustin, he doesn't have to do well in an Iowa primary poll, because there is no Iowa primary. There's a caucus."

Very true. Polling is not very predictive of the ultimate results because of the weird process and viability rules at each caucus site. As a Kerry and then Biden supporter in the last two cycles, I've been on both ends of that crap shoot. Takes great on-the-ground organization.

"Romney only lost because Super Tuesday had several big states (e.g. New York, New Jersey, California) where McCain was popular and independents were allowed to vote."

And so far, Romney's looking the strongest among indies and in the big states.

Stephen Monteith said...

I seriously doubt Jim DeMint will enter the presidential race. And if memory serves, didn't he endorse Romney in the '08 season? Now that he's had time to build up his national security and foreign policy credentials (not to mention his endorsement of Nikki Haley in SC months before Sarah Palin even came along), I think Romney could do quite well in South Carolina, especially if he wins in Iowa this time.

Yes, Huckabee won there last time, but Romney again backed the winning horse in Iowa: Branstad over Vander Plaats. Branstad won't forget who helped him win any more than Haley will.

And, if Romney wins Iowa, NH, and SC this time, along with the pre-Super Tuesday primaries and caucuses he won last time, then he could do what no other nonincumbent presidential candidate, either Republican or Democrat, has done: sweep the nominating contests.

Anonymous said...

One thing I like about Romney is his state's healthcare plan.

It is the blueprint that Obama's healthcare plan is based on.

Dustin Ingalls said...

"One thing I like about Romney is his state's healthcare plan.

It is the blueprint that Obama's healthcare plan is based on."

Haha, shhh, don't tell GOoPers that. The mandate is evil!

Anonymous said...

If Huckabee runs, he is winning IA hands down -- no matter how much you wish to twist and turn the argument. And "second" place means NOTHING, folks, in the media's eyes -- and the media focuses the nation's attention.

Furthermore, while armchair strategists can romance away the significance of any of the first four primary/caucuses, you can be sure the media will not -- especialy since they will be the only four held in February.

The media will be camped in both IA and NH -- and the winner will get much to do.

JG said...

Re Anonymous comment that they like Romney's state health care plan because it is like Obamacare: Romney stated himself and campaigned for a national health care strategy that was very different from what he accomplished in Massachussetts. At the national level, Romney campaigned for a federalist system of healthcare -- not a national mandate to buy health insurance.

So Anonymous is incorrect to imply that Romney, had he been elected, would have instituted Obamacare. Obamacare was not sufficiently thought through.

 
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