Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney leads four other Republican presidential candidates in New Hampshire in an exclusive Now Hampshire/Populus Research poll.
Romney, who came in second in the 2008 New Hampshire presidential primary, leads all potential candidates with just over 50-percent of Republicans saying they would vote for him if the primary were held today.
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee are neck-and-neck with almost 17-percent each. Newt Gingrich earned roughly 13-percent. While Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is supported by 2.7-percent of the Granite State Republicans.
The poll was conducted exclusively for NowHampshire.com by Populus Research of Alexandria, Va. Between August 10th and 11th among 403 likely Republican primary voters. The poll carries a margin of error of 5%.
Mike Dennehy, a veteran of Sen. John McCain’s two campaigns in the Granite State, is not surprised by the result. “Gov. Romney worked very hard here in 2008. He maintains a lot of support.”
“It’s interesting to see the way Palin and Huckabee compete for almost the same voters and end up splitting their support,” Dennehy said.
Dennehy also noted that New Hampshire is an environment that might ultimately embrace someone like Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota or some other candidate who has not yet indicated interest in the Republican nomination.
“New Hampshire loves underdogs,” he said.