NH Presidential Primary: It’s Early

Six months before the New Hampshire presidential primary, John Toole interviews voters shopping in Londonderry to get their take on the Republican candidates.

Who is Romney? ”I think he’s a Democrat. He was governor of, was it Massachusetts? And he ran in the last election,” said Aaron Starkman of Londonderry.

Who is Gingrich? ”He’s a Massachusetts political figure,” said Maureen Glasier of Derry.

Who is Bachmann? ”She is crazy. But that’s all I know,” said Cindy Walker of Derry.

Who is Huntsman? Nobody knew.

Who is Pawlenty? ”Governor of Illinois or something like that,” Glasier said.

His conclusion? It’s early.

Can a Moderate Republican Win the NH Primary?

Matt Bai makes the case for a moderate Republican, specifically Jon Huntsman, having a real shot at winning the New Hampshire presidential primary.

[T]he presidential primary electorate will be very different from the 2010 primaries for House and Senate. … In New Hampshire, where Tea Party types overran the state Legislature and wrested control of the state party last year, turnout in the 2010 primaries was under 20 percent, as it usually is.

The turnout in next year’s presidential primary, on the other hand, will probably reach 60 percent. That means the influence of the most conservative, most motivated activists will almost certainly be diluted.

[I]n the last two contested Republican primary seasons, independents in “open states” like New Hampshire split their votes between Republicans and Democrats. But this year, all of them will be voting for a Republican.

Magellan: Romney Maintains Big NH Primary Lead

Mitt Romney continues to maintain his front-runner position in the New Hampshire GOP presidential primary in a new survey from Magellan Strategies. 42% of those surveyed say if the election were held today, they would vote for Romney. His closest competitors are Ron Paul and Michele Bachmann with 10% each.

Compared to an earlier survey from Magellan, Romney has about the same level of support as he had at the beginning of the year. Michelle Bachmann, who was not included in the January poll, has gained the most, while support for Palin and Gingrich has dropped significantly.

Mitt Romney: 42% (January 2011: 39%)
Ron Paul: 10% (7%)
Michele Bachmann: 10% (n/a)
Sarah Palin 7% (16%)
Rudy Giuliani 6% (n/a)
Tim Pawlenty: 5% (4%)
Herman Cain: 4% (n/a)
Newt Gingrich: 3% (8%)
Jon Huntsman: 3% (n/a)
Rick Santorum: 2% (3%) 

A finding that could play a a significant role in the primary results is that just 63% of these likely voters self-identify as conservative on most issues. 32% identify themselves as moderate and 4% liberal. 72% of the Republicans said they are conservative compared to just 39% of Independents. Undeclared voters, those who are not registered as Republicans or Democrats, are eligible to vote in the GOP primary.

The survey results are based on an autodial survey of 727 likely Republican primary voters and undeclared voters likely to vote in the 2012 Republican Presidential primary. The interviews were conducted June 14-15, 2011. This survey has a margin of error of +/‐ 3.63% at the 95 percent confidence interval.

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