Manchester, New Hampshire (CNN) – With one day to go until the Granite State's first-in-the-nation primary, two new polls indicate Mitt Romney remains the clear front-runner, with Rep. Ron Paul of Texas in the second spot in both surveys.
According to a Suffolk University/7 News daily tracking poll released Monday morning, 33% of likely New Hampshire Republican primary voters say they are backing Romney for their party's nominee, with 20% supporting Paul, the long time congressman from Texas who's making his third run for the White House. Romney's lead in the tracking poll has shrunk over the past four days.
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The survey indicates that former Utah Gov. and former ambassador to China Jon Huntsman is at 13%. Huntsman skipped the Iowa caucuses, which were held last Tuesday, and is spending virtually all of his time campaigning in New Hampshire, hoping that strong finish will propel him on to South Carolina.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who finished a disappointing fourth in Iowa, is at 11%, with former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania at 10%. Santorum finished a strong second in last week's caucuses, losing to Romney by just eight votes. Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who is skipping campaigning in New Hampshire to concentrate on South Carolina, is at one percent.
The latest edition of the tracking poll was conducted Saturday and Sunday, both before and after the doubleheader of debates in the Granite State Saturday night and Sunday morning.
Romney has a larger lead over Paul and the rest of the field in a WMUR-TV survey conducted by the University of New Hampshire. The poll, released Sunday night, indicates Romney at 41%, with Paul at 17%. Romney is very well known here in New Hampshire. He was governor of neighboring Massachusetts for four years last decade, and was often on Boston TV, which much of the heavily populated southern New Hampshire receives. Romney also owns a vacation home in the Granite State and has spent lots of time over the past six years in the state campaigning for himself or for fellow Republicans.
According to the WMUR poll, Huntsman and Santorum are tied at 11%, with Gingrich at 8% and Perry at one percent.
Both surveys indicate a large pool of people either undecided or likely to change their minds about whom they are backing. With the primary a day away, Andy Smith from the University of New Hampshire Survey Center told WMUR that "this race is wide open, maybe not at the top, but certainly for the second slot."
The WMUR/University of New Hampshire poll was conducted Thursday through Sunday, mostly before and partially after the back to back debates, with 461 likely New Hampshire GOP primary voters questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 4.6 percentage points.
The Suffolk University/7 News tracking poll was conducted Saturday and Sunday, with 500 likely voters questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.
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