Romney takes large lead in New Hampshire primary poll, would defeat Obama head-to-head

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter
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Mitt Romney has a large lead among New Hampshire primary voters, according to a new WMUR Granite State Poll conducted by the University of New Hampshire.

The poll, released Tuesday evening, found Romney to be the favorite of 35 percent of likely Republican primary voters. His nearest competitor, Michele Bachmann, has just 12 percent.

Ron Paul and Rudy Giuliani tie for third, with 7 percent of the vote, followed by Rick Perry, who gets 4 percent.

Sarah Palin and Tim Pawlenty tied for fifth place with three percent of the vote, and Jon Huntsman and Herman Cain have just two percent.

Newt Gingrich is down to just one percent of the vote, just above Gary Johnson, Rick Santorum and Buddy Roemer, who clock in below one percent.

Romney would beat Obama in a head-to-head competition, the poll found, surveying both Republicans and Democrats. The former Massachusetts governor got 47 percent of the vote, while Obama got only 43 percent. (Pawlenty attacks bipartisan commission to end Minnesota government shutdown)

Palin and Newt Gingrich top the list of candidates that Republican voters “would not vote for under any circumstances.” 23 percent said they would never vote for Palin, and 16 percent said they would never vote for Gingrich.

The poll surveyed 773 people: 357 likely Republican primary voters and 263 likely Democratic primary voters. The margin of error for the full sample is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.