Romney beats Obama big in New Hampshire, poll shows
April 22nd, 2011
08:44 AM ET
3 years ago

Romney beats Obama big in New Hampshire, poll shows

(CNN) – President Obama is getting some ominous news out of New Hampshire Friday in a new poll that suggests he will lose the key presidential state by a sizable margin if former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is the Republican nominee.

According to the new survey conducted by Dartmouth College, Romney beats the president in a head-to-head matchup by 8 points, 47 percent to 39 percent. Obama's poor showing against Romney is also the product of his weak approval rating in the Granite State, where only 36 percent of voters there give him positive marks. That compares to a 45 percent approval rating for Obama in New Hampshire in a similar poll one year ago.

But it's not all bad news for the president: though losing big to Romney, he soundly defeats every other potential GOP candidate the poll tested, including former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (by 8 points), former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (by 16 points), Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (by 19 points), businessman Donald Trump (by 22 points) and former GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin (by 27 points).

Still, Obama's strong showing against those candidates is likely a reflection of their currently poor name identification in the state than his popularity: The president does not pass the 50 percent threshold when pitted against every potential GOP candidate except Palin and Trump, a sign many voters are prepared to vote against the president when they learn more about the other Republican candidates. Obama carried New Hampshire by 9 points over Sen. John McCain in the 2008 general election.

Having previously run for president only four years ago and serving as the governor of neighboring Massachusetts, Romney undoubtedly begins the GOP primary race in New Hampshire with a big advantage. Given his early strength there, it's possible anything besides a win in that state's first-in-the-nation primary would be a blow to his campaign. In 2008, Romney lost the New Hampshire primary by 6 points to McCain.

The Dartmouth poll surveyed 426 registered voters by telephone from April 11-14 and carries a sampling error of plus or minus 5 percent.


Filed under: New Hampshire • President Obama
soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. Kend

    I love Obama, and voted for him, but seriously if he ran against Romney in 2008 I would have voted for Romney. I feel now that would've been a bad decision because Obama did save Chrysler and GM, Romney would have let go bankrupt

    April 22, 2011 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  2. T'sah from Virginia

    Too bad Romney will not be the candidate – the RIGHT wants TRUMPet or the PA'IN in the neck to run!!!!

    Too early to tell – I am NOT worrying about NH at this time... STM is a known factor with voters and this poll will soon pass!!

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012!!!

    April 22, 2011 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  3. chris

    new Hamoshire is not that important in the election, very important primary but the general election not so much.

    April 22, 2011 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  4. Seattle Sue

    But Romney will never get the nomination. He's not quite freaky enough. But on the other hand, perhaps he will since McCain will not be there to tell lies about him. Romney is a glutton for punishment as he can not ever be elected as President.

    April 22, 2011 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  5. OBAMACARES

    LOL! LOL! I can't stop laughing. This poll is BOGUS. It's designed to ease the fears of the "Sane Republicans" who do not want Trump to win the primary. LOL!

    April 22, 2011 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  6. Snow

    This idiot obama has to be voted out in 2012.

    April 22, 2011 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  7. Marie MD

    I am sure they are trembling in the WH. :)
    All of 426 registered voters? Since the story doesn't mention it I take it they polled rethugs only?
    We were called in 2008 by ehrlich's campaign (lost the rethug election in MD-And yes, we still have a landline phone along with smartphones) and it started simple but by the third question all it was was propaganda against O'Malley and all that erhlic supposedly did as governor which was nothing but they played him up to have been so good for our state.
    Mitt man has flipped flopped so many times that he probably can't get out of bed before rolling all over it every morning to see which side works best for him today!

    April 22, 2011 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  8. XWngLady

    New Hampshire has been ridiculously and inexplicably Repbulican for quite a while now. But whatever floats their boat. This is not a surprise nor is it news.

    April 22, 2011 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  9. sonnie2

    His poll slip just like his performance. He don't have a plan and relies on lies and attack anyone who puts a plan forth.
    This guy is a gutless wonder.

    April 22, 2011 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  10. Toad

    Mitt Romney is a 2008 loser. Obama would love to run against this guy so don't let this poll fool you! They don't want to run against Trump for sure!

    April 22, 2011 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  11. Name king

    I wonder what it will look like if the repugs control all 3 branches. I know now that there is nothing this president can do to appease these people. The economy is growing, jobs are being created near record levels, yet the people are more afraid more than ever, I wonder why? May be the repugs negative screaming are finally resegnAting with the people. There is nothing this president did that these repugs didn't slammed, yet the economy keep growing and jobs keeps getting created month after month after month. I wonder what would have happens if we were still losing jobs and economy kept decreasing, if the dems kept the bush economic policies that brought us to the second worst economy crisis in our nation's history, I just wonder.

    April 22, 2011 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  12. Rick James B....

    Really?....people never learn

    April 22, 2011 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  13. Anonymous

    More non thinking Americans that would vote for this guy Romney. A guy who made his money by buying up faltering companies and shipping there jobs overseas.

    April 22, 2011 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  14. jojo

    New Hampshire is only a "big state" if you are running in a primary (which Obama probably isn't, since he is the incumbent President). Otherwise it's just a scant 3 electoral college votes.

    April 22, 2011 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  15. gt

    i think trump would beat both of them...

    April 22, 2011 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  16. lynn

    For the smallest state in a far northern corner of the U.S., I'd say Who Cares what New Hampshire thinks. Frozen brains most of the year.

    April 22, 2011 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  17. jim

    I guess an improving economy, a decreasing unemployment rate, a pulling back of soldiers on foreign ground, and an improving world image are all bad things to conservatives.

    April 22, 2011 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  18. Leonore H. Dvorkin

    426 voters? That does not sound like a very meaningful sample to me.
    Obama will be re-elected. The increasingly weird, out-of touch, delusional, self-destroying Repubs need to suck that up now. Some analysts also say that the Democrats have a good chance of taking back the House. As the economy continues to improve, Obama and the Democrats will look better and better.
    We Democrats watch in glee as idiots like Trump, Bachmann, and Palin continue to get attention from the Right. They are helping to make the Republican party less relevant every day.
    Obama/Biden 2012!

    April 22, 2011 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  19. dr

    Wait until they see the powerful hidden Mormon agenda this guy has been raised in. Nothing will be open for business on Sunday! Take it from someone that has been raised behind the Zion curtain, you do not want a Mormon like this running the country. If you must choose between the two Mormons making headlines for President, governor Huntsman has a much broader understanding of the world. He is Mormon, but he challenged people in the state to open up their minds. He was also picked and loved by the current administration as a foreign diplomat. I think Huntsman is a much smarter guy, and will open the eyes of the electorate if he runs. Mitt isn't much different than Trump, he will tell you what ever you want to hear.
    I am a progressive democrat and Huntsman will attract more liberal and independent voters.

    April 22, 2011 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  20. M

    So tell us, CNN, who's leading the polls for the 2016 presidential race? What about 2020? 2024?

    I realize you guys are in the business of making money off the news, but has it ever occurred to you that reporting like this only keeps the country in a perpetual election cycle? That means that every elected official, every candidate, and every potential candidate is always in campaign mode, either pumping up their own record or trying to tear someone else down. That leads to hyperpartisanship as much as the fringe elements on each end of the political spectrum.

    If you must report on things, how about doing some actual in-depth reporting on the economy, the state of the country's healthcare system, or, I don't know, maybe even an investigative piece on the tracking file recently discovered on iPhones? Why is it there and what does it do? Seems like a more pertinent issue than who will win an election over a year and a half away that currently has only one official candidate.

    April 22, 2011 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  21. Penobscot

    Romney is the man.

    April 22, 2011 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  22. marty

    After Reagan's assault on the middle class, followed by horrendous money squandering, national debt surges and horrible, blatant lies about wars and WMD's during the Bush administration, plus the iron fisted, militaristic actions of the 'new' Republican governors, anyone who votes for a Republican in this next election is intellectually challenged.
    New Hampshire is becoming as stale as Mitt Romney.

    April 22, 2011 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  23. Brian

    Wow, I can't remember seeing so many liberals this angry when "their" guy is in the White House. Obama and this administration with their continues lies, their broken promises, the ever increasing cost of gas and the total failure to create jobs is something the rest of this country is able to see very clearly. The democrats have had the power for the past 8 years and what have they done? Now Obama has had over 2 years and what has he done? A miserable healthcare bill with over 1000 waivers is good for everyone except those 1000+ companies? Open your eyes people, Obama is done.

    April 22, 2011 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  24. Jess C

    Please, can we hold off on the polls for at least another year? Polled just Republicans and Independents....gee, what a surprise! Romney does't stand a chance. Dems are going to fight hard this time around and from what I see, the fire has been lit by all the GOP pandering to the wealthy while crapping on the middle class. Obama is a cinch win.

    April 22, 2011 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  25. Four and The Door

    Mitt Romney is so much more capable for the problems that need to be dealt with by the federal government right now and its not difficult to see that. Mitt takes a consistent, experienced, responsible approach to the issues based on a firm understanding of economics and unwavering values. These deliver the intended results.

    In contrast, Obama is all over the map. First he's buying the economy back to life on borrowed money. He's throwing money at Wall Street, at the banks, at Detroit, at unions, at health care insurance...wherever the mood seems to hit. And none of it works. So then he fires his whole team of economic advisors, gets clobbered in 2010 and all of the sudden he's fiscally responsible. He goes along with Republicans and his new economic advisors to cut spending and not raise taxes. The unemployment rate drops like a rock and the economy starts getting back into gear.

    Now he gets pressure from his far left support base and he's back on raising taxes. Bad idea. Kill the first thing that seems to work. But I'm not that worried. He'll probably change direction next month.

    April 22, 2011 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
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