June 12th, 2007
06:58 PM ET
4 years ago

Poll: Romney surges ahead in New Hampshire

Romney holds an eight percentage point lead over McCain and Giuliani in New Hampshire, according to a new CNN/WMUR poll.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has jumped to the head of the pack of 2008 Republican presidential contenders in New Hampshire, according to a CNN/WMUR poll out Tuesday.

Romney shot past former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Sen. John McCain of Arizona in the latest poll, conducted Wednesday through Monday by the University of New Hampshire. Former Tennessee senator and "Law and Order" star Fred Thompson runs fourth after taking his first steps toward a campaign, the survey found. (Read full poll results [PDF])

Pollsters interviewed 304 New Hampshire residents who say they will vote in January's Republican primary, the first in the nation. The survey had a sampling error of 5.5 percentage points.

Romney, who led New Hampshire's southern neighbor from 2003 to 2007, drew 28 percent support in the new poll. Giuliani and McCain were tied for second at 20 percent, while 11 percent backed Thompson, who set up a campaign fundraising committee June 1.

The remainder of the GOP's presidential contenders were in the low single digits. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who has said he will decide whether to run in the fall, scored 4 percent; Texas congressman Ron Paul, the lone voice of opposition to the war in Iraq among Republican candidates, came in at 3 percent; Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee were at 2 percent; and Colorado U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo rated less than 1 percent.

None of those polled chose California congressman Duncan Hunter, former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore or former Wisconsin governor and Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson.

The poll was conducted after last week's CNN-WMUR-New Hampshire Union Leader debate in Manchester. Fred Thompson did not take part in that face-off, the first among the GOP candidates in the state.

Romney trailed McCain and Giuliani by 11 percentage points in the last CNN/WMUR poll, conducted in late March and early April, and the current survey found the race remains highly fluid. Only 6 percent of Granite State Republicans said they had definitely decided on a candidate, while 57 percent said they had no idea who they will support.

Among the top three, 32 percent found Romney was the most likeable candidate. Giuliani came in second with 28 percent, while McCain was third at 12 percent. But 31 percent of those polled said Giuliani had the best chance of beating the eventual Democratic nominee, compared to 25 percent for Romney and 14 percent for McCain.

Respondents were closely split on the question of which candidate was the strongest leader, with Giuliani and McCain tied at 26 percent and Romney at 25 percent. But McCain was considered the most believable, with 27 percent to Romney's 19 and Giuliani's 21.

McCain - who during last week's debate was the sole defender of the controversial immigration bill that stalled in the Senate last week - also was rated the most willing to take an unpopular stand. Thirty-six percent of those polled gave that distinction to McCain, compared to 16 percent each for Romney and Giuliani.

While the immigration controversy dominated last week's debate, the new poll finds it running a distant second among Granite State GOP voters' priorities. The war in Iraq topped the list at 36 percent, while immigration came in at 11 percent, the economy at 9 percent and health care at 8 percent. Abortion trailed the list at 6 percent.


Filed under: New Hampshire • Polls
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. Leroy Maxwell Tampa Florida

    Whats most interesting to me is that 47% of the responders didn't even watch the debate, and that Ron Paul has gone from 1% to 3%.

    June 12, 2007 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  2. misa, columbus ohio

    only 41% of the primary voters polled actually watched the debate, with only 13% watching it in entirety.
    voters need to wake up and investigate each of the candidates issues and not rely on the media to sway their opinions!!

    ron paul 2008!

    June 12, 2007 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  3. Joseph Light, Provo, UT

    Anyone read Neil Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death? They all appeared on TV and viewers chose the guy with the most hair. How many bald presidents have we had? How many since the invention of TV?

    June 12, 2007 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  4. Chris Pensacola, FL

    Wow, 309 residents from New Hampshire. Now that's a sampling!!

    Isn't New Hampshire a blue state?? So why does this poll matter?
    Wait, I just saw this-

    Romney losing edge in New Hampshire – Politics – MSNBC.com

    We never know the truth anymore. :(

    June 12, 2007 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  5. Rocko, Austin, TX

    Romney is clearly the best candidate in the race. He will be our next president!

    June 12, 2007 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  6. Gary, Boston MA

    Don't trust polls.. that is unless they are based on a large and widely distributed sample. A restricted sample of 300, or even 1000 is NOT believable. What it is.. is propaganda. Give me a nationwide distributed poll consisting of tens of thousands+, and maybe you will have my attention.

    June 12, 2007 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  7. Frank Choctaw, OK

    Ah, New Hampshire residents...The Budge Deficit should be your #1 concern. As the saying goes, "it's the economy stupid". However, I'd seriously doubt that you'll like 15% inflation.

    Please don't vote if you don't know or do the research. You're just ruining America by blind voting.

    June 12, 2007 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  8. Harry Smith Cleveland Ohio

    Go Romney!!!

    Thompson was a key supporter of McCain-Feingold and he was a heavy McCain supporter.

    June 12, 2007 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  9. Trent Hill, Denham Springs, Louisiana

    The true story here is that Ron Paul is at 3%.

    June 12, 2007 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  10. Russ Hackensack NJ

    "Romney surges ahead in New Hampshire"
    WoW a Whole 304 Peeps, Now That is Science
    Thanks CNN
    One of the Questions the 304 where asked.
    24. (REPUBLICAN PRIMARY VOTERS ONLY:) As you may know, the Republican presidential
    candidates debated on TV this past Tuesday night. Did you watch or listen to all of that debate,
    most of that debate, some of that debate, only a few minutes of that debate, or did you not watch
    or listen to any part of that debate?
    June
    2007
    All of it 13%
    Most of it 9%
    Some of it 19%
    Only a few minutes of it 12%
    Did not watch debate 47%
    No opinion *
    47% of clueless people participated.

    June 12, 2007 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  11. S. Richard, Olathe, KS

    Keep up the good work, Mitt.
    Mr. Romney is extremely clever to keep focused on the early primary states, which are crucial to the nomination. Seeking higher national numbers is tempting, but ultimately irrelevant to the primary process in which nominees are decided. This is the problem which will face Fred Thompson like a brick wall- high national numbers, but trailing heavily in the primary states (outside the South).
    Mitt's playing it just right.

    June 12, 2007 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  12. Patrick, Cincinnati,OH

    I'd sooner live under Saddam Husseins rule than have Mitt Romney as president.

    June 12, 2007 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  13. Philip, Monrovia, IN

    Mitt Romney is clear, concise, and oozes competence. I wouldn't care if he was a Druid and was raised on Mars, I'll support him. Imagine what he could do for Social Security and the deficit after he rescued the 2002 Olympics!

    President Mitt Romney has a nice ring to it!

    June 12, 2007 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  14. Adam, San Mateo, CA

    "I’d sooner live under Saddam Hussein's rule than have Mitt Romney as president. Posted By Patrick, Cincinnati,OH"

    Why, Patrick?

    June 12, 2007 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  15. Aaron, Mesa AZ

    I'd like to hear from the Romney supporters what their favorite policy is of their chosen candidate. What's most important that causes you to say, "Romney is clearly the best candidate"?

    Also, what is your opinion on the eradication of personal freedoms in the Patriot Act, and what is your opinion of preventive nuclear strikes?

    I want a candidate that will turn back the Patriot Act and swear off preventive nuclear attacks.

    June 12, 2007 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  16. Tuan, Lakeville, MN

    Whoever doing the polling is as corrupted as the TV stations that are doing the debates. If anyone cared to watch the debate, it was clear who won. How can someone vote for Thompson if you have no fricken idea what the man stands for. This whole polling thing is a sham.

    June 12, 2007 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  17. John. Gothenburg Sweden

    I'd like a candidate who would get rid of the IRS, end the drug war, get us out of Iraq immediately (like 80% of americans want) and cut the federal government waaaaay back. There's only one Republican and 0 democrats who will do any of these things.

    June 12, 2007 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  18. Aaron, Boston MA

    Mitt Romney was running for president the moment he became governor of Massachusetts. He hit the campaign trail less than a year in office, and left behind him a deteriorated infrastructure, a broken education system, and higher taxes than ever before. In four years, how many jobs did the self-proclaimed magnet for business growth draw to the state? 5200. 5200 jobs in 4 years! Just imagine what he'll do for the country.

    June 12, 2007 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  19. Jim, Columbus OH

    It's unfortunate the media is driving this election. Neither of the 'front runners' in either party currently present the best vision for our country. Unfortunately the candidates with the best plans (Ron Paul in particular) get little press. And lets face it, unless the sheep see their faces often, they will not get the votes.

    June 12, 2007 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  20. Mike,San Antonio TX

    I will not be voting for anyone who wants to double the size of a prison is to hold people ilegally without charging them. Like Mitt says "some people say we oughta get rid of Guantanamo, I say we oughta double Guantanamo". If that doesn't scream Neocon what does?

    June 12, 2007 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  21. Donald Brown Chicago IL

    Romney will win the election!!

    Governors win elections not Senators.

    June 12, 2007 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  22. John, Cincinnati, Ohio

    Mitt Romney – our next Warren Harding?

    June 12, 2007 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  23. David, Gilbert Arizona

    47% of the people polled formed their opinion based on a 15 second sound byte. That's what passes these days as an educated voter.

    I watched both debates. I would not vote for Mitt Romney. He waffles on many issues. After a while I get the impression he has no real opinion about anything. He only says what he thinks voters want to hear.

    June 12, 2007 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  24. Bob, Orem, UT

    Re: Chris Pensacola's comment:

    The MSNBC article you reference is from three months ago! The point is Romney was small then and he's big now in New Hampshire.

    June 12, 2007 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  25. Dave, Milan, MI

    Why is this surprising at all? NH is right next to MA. These kind of results make me appreciate the way Florida is moving its primary up so that NH and Iowa aren't so important. Unfortunately, posting results from smaller states still does influence other states' perceptions.

    June 12, 2007 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
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