Romney leads in NH poll, but has slipped

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter
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A new Public Policy Polling poll shows Mitt Romney still leading in the New Hampshire Republican primary, but finds that he has slipped since the firm last polled the state, while Michele Bachmann is on the rise.

The poll found that 25 percent of likely New Hampshire Republican primary voters would vote for Romney in the primary, down from the 37 percent who said they would vote for him in early April of this year.

The ballot in April was somewhat different. It did not include Rick Perry, but did ask respondents about Haley Barbour.

But as PPP points out, Romney’s favorability in the state has also dropped slightly, falling from 68 percent favorable, 19 percent unfavorable in April to 60 percent favorable, 29 percent unfavorable in the most recent poll.

That variation would seem to reflect just how uncertain the field remains, and how voters’ opinions are not yet set.

Bachmann on the other hand has jumped 14 points in the polls, coming in just behind Romney with 18 percent of the vote. She has high favorability in the state, 64 percent favorable and 24 percent unfavorable. (Romney brings together potential Utah rivals)

Among self-identified Tea Partiers her favorability is the highest of any candidate, with 86 percent favorable and 11 percent unfavorable. Among those voters, she is the first choice candidate on a trial ballot. Among non-Tea Party voters, Romney is the clear favorite.

Sarah Palin is the only other candidate who gets into double digits in a trial heat ballot, garnering 11 percent of the vote.

Romney did better in the WMUR Granite State poll released Tuesday conducted by the University of New Hampshire. Thirty-five percent of likely Republican primary voters said he was their first choice, and 68 percent said they had a favorable opinion of him. Just 24 percent had an unfavorable opinion of him.

The poll surveyed 341 New Hampshire Republican primary voters between June 30 and July 5, using robo-call interviews. None of those interviews were conducted on July 3 or July 4. The margin of error is plus or minus 5.3 percent.