PPP numbers looking ahead to the 2012 Republican Presidential nomination contest in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania find Mitt Romney looking strong in New England and the West and Mike Huckabee with a slight edge in the Midwest.
In the critical early state of New Hampshire Romney continues to hold a dominant polling advantage, with 40% to 13% for Huckabee and 10% each for Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin. If Tim Pawlenty, Mike Pence, Mitch Daniels, or John Thune somehow emerges as the winner in New Hampshire they'll be able to truthfully say they started out with nothing- they poll at 4%, 3%, 1%, and 1% respectively.
If Romney really does run he puts the New Hampshire primary at some risk of being irrelevant. If he continues to post huge leads in the polls there other top contenders could end up just writing it off and focusing their efforts on states like Nevada, South Carolina, and Florida that could have more competitive contests.
Romney has a wide lead with both moderates and conservatives in New Hampshire and the same is true for him in Connecticut where he has 28% to 15% for Huckabee, 14% for Gingrich, and 11% for Palin. He looks to have a strong home court advantage in Massachusetts' neighboring states.
In California and Colorado Romney's leads are much narrower and speak to what might have to be his path to the nomination: breaking even with conservatives and cleaning up with moderates. In California he has 25% to 18% for Palin and 15% for Gingrich and Huckabee. He and Palin are actually tied with conservatives at 24% each. But with moderates Romney leads her by a whooping 30-2 margin, giving him the 7 point overall advantage. It's a similar story in Colorado. Overall there Romney's at 22% with Gingrich and Palin tied at 17% and Huckabee back at 14%. With conservatives there it's basically a three way tie with Romney and Gingrich each at 20% and Palin getting 19%. But Romney gets 27% of moderates with Gingrich and Palin both in single digits and that gives him the overall lead.
In Pennsylvania and Illinois it's Huckabee holding a small lead and the results in Illinois are particularly interesting. There Huckabee's at 18%, Gingrich at 17%, Palin at 14%, and Romney all the way back at 12%. An interesting explanation for Romney's poor showing in Illinois is that Tim Pawlenty (7%) and Mitch Daniels (6%) register higher than they do elsewhere. The two of them are particularly strong with Romney's otherwise strong core of moderate voters, getting a total of 18% of the GOP centrist vote between the two of them. It'll be interesting to see, if they do end up running, if they hurt Romney.
Huckabee's lead is wider in Pennsylvania, where he gets 23% to 16% for Palin and Romney and 15% for Gingrich. We'll total it all up when we're done releasing all 18 of these polls but for now it's Romney 4 Huckabee 2 Gingrich 0 Palin 0.
Full results here