June 12th, 2007
06:58 PM ET
12 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. Mike Tagger / Wareham, Ma.

    304 people polled? Thats is not indicative of much at all.

    Trying to make someone look like a winner sometimes works but not for me.

    June 12, 2007 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  2. Dave Charlotte, NC

    For those Mitt fans who failed to watch the debate...Mitt has an itchy finger for the nuke button against Iran.

    In the 2nd debate (that was in South Carolina on FoxNews, for the uninformed), he endorsed torture of prisoners.

    In the 1st debate (Simi, California on MSNBC), he told us how he was for abortion, but miraculously in time for his run for the Republican nomination, it was explained to him so that he 'saw the light'.

    BTW, Ron Paul won the first and third denate polls by wide margins and came in second in the SC debate. He's the only Repub candidate who was 'outreaged' (his words) at the public consensus amongst the other candidates to leave nuclear attack against Iran (a third world country) on the table and to continue the Iraq war.


    June 12, 2007 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  3. Enoch, Los Angeles CA

    The only thing Romney believes in concretely is that a feller by the name of Joseph Smith found golden plates with the word of god that only he could read and be shown, and that also magically dissappeared. That's what Romney believes. And come on CNN, publishing results from a poll of 304 people, are you guys for real? Please review the basics of scientific methodology. How stupid do you think we are?

    June 12, 2007 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  4. L. Kline, Chattanooga, TN

    Why does a survey of 304 New Hampshire residents even warrent a story on CNN. How was the list of callers generated? What database of callers was used? I'm sure I could call 304 voters to reflect any number of possible winners. Next time if you are going to write a story give the details. How were the callers chosen for the survey/poll? Another CNN story handpicked to reflect CNN's bias.

    June 12, 2007 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  5. Chris Pensacola, FL

    You're right it is old. I suspect my point was showing how different media outlets "hooks up" their own people with the power of wording. 😉


    June 12, 2007 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  6. Mike, San Antonio, TX

    What has Romney done as a politician that's conservative? The answer is nothing. He's not a conservative in the true sense, he's not trying to stop the IRS or stop illegal immigration as it should be stopped. You are watching a more polished Bush pt. II. Don't be fooled again. Vote for a candidate who is against nation building over-seas, wants to protect our borders, and actually cares about catching Osama Bin Laden.

    June 12, 2007 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  7. Rebecca, Pittsfield, MA

    Romney is an empty suit. He left Massachusetts in shambles by cutting local aid. It currently costs $300/yr per child to ride the school bus, $250/yr/child per activity. My town had money to pay these things before he showed up. He may talk about cutting taxes, but he jacked up the price of living.

    Trust me, you don't want the guy running the country.

    June 12, 2007 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  8. Bayla M Boston, MA

    Warning- Romney was a "no show" Govenour in Massacusetts, he used "fees " instead of "taxes" but that caused a huge deficit in the Massachusetts State budget.

    Our roads and infrastructure are a mess, because there was not enough money to pay for repairs.

    He is supposed to be "the expert" on business but during his tenure Massachusetts lost a record 250,000 jobs or more. He never knew the states biggest employer, Gillette, was being bought by Proctor and Gamble. Layoffs ensued , causing more job loss.

    Education has suffered state wide, There are not enough funds for it. He sphiphoned off money and sent it through the Bush re-election campaign. He hid all the campaign money he has been colecting, through some "loophole".

    He was barely in Massachusetts the last year he was Govenour. He never took responsibility for anything bad that happened due to state goverment, but he would run in and do a press conference if something positive happened, even if he had nothing to do with it.

    If Al Gore was the "annoying know it all" in 2000, then Romney is the annoying squeeky clean "tattletale" who Brown noses his way through life.

    Remember people- "Good hair" does not make a good president. He's phony and he hides behind an agenda that would put women back into "the kitchen barefoot and pregnant".

    He does not know Constitutional Law, which should be a requirement for all Presidential Candidates.

    Do not vote for him. Our State is a mess now and the new Gov elect has a lot of work , just fixing all that Romney , broke, busted and stole.

    June 12, 2007 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  9. Greg, Queen Creek AZ

    has the most knowledge and depth of ANY candidate running. He's what our country needs when it comes to resolving the issues facing us today such as terrorism, social security, immigration, healthcare, keeping taxes low. Contrary to what some have said here on this site he is the ONLY one that has accomplished anything outside of DC worth noting. He's not a DC Beltway guy and will surround himself with competent people in his administration that get's things done. He has a track record in his personal life you can verify against.

    June 12, 2007 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  10. Sally, North Dakota

    The only thing Romney offers is a presidential "appearance." If anyone closely followed the issues, they would see that Ron Paul is the most conservative and honest candidate. The idea offered by the neocons that we can nation build is derrived from some sort of utopian, liberal view point. We need to return to the republic, and stop trying to nation build.

    June 12, 2007 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  11. Ian, Eastham MA

    CNN thinks you're stupid.

    Of 304 people polled, 57% said they have no idea who they'd vote for.

    Forget what CNN says, read the survey for yourself. The real story is that 57% of the voters are up for grabs!

    June 13, 2007 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  12. Nathan LaHue, Concord NH

    I swear, I feel stupid having to watch CNN/WMUR, and I LIVE IN CONCORD New Hampshire. At the 3rd Debate, I was there at St. Anselm College. We had over 200 Ron Paul supporters. There were maybe 50 each from the "top-tier" NeoCons. Ron Paul's support will only grow, and the sheeple of America will see the light. Will they see it in time? 47%.......wow. 309 people? Yeah, very scientific CNN.

    June 14, 2007 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  13. Frank, Lowell, MA

    Don't listen to the folks who flunked statistics and complain about this sample size.

    Statistically speaking, you can approximate a normal distribution of an infinitely large population with fewer than 40 randomly sampled data points.

    The difference between larger and smaller sample sizes is the +-error percentage. You can see in this poll the error is +-5.5% which is slightly higher than the 3% we are used to but hardly enough to call it a bogus poll. All it means is the folks who are impressed buy 1-2% swings in minor candidates are wasteing their focus.

    As a frame of reference national polls usually have a sample size of less than 2000. Thankfully we don't have national elections so don’t waste your time reading national polls either. Go Romney! Let’s see a Romney-Giuliani ticket!

    June 14, 2007 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
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