Romney holds big lead in New Hampshire

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter
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A Rasmussen poll released Friday found Mitt Romney with a strong lead in New Hampshire, followed by Rick Perry and Ron Paul.

Romney has the support of 39 percent of likely New Hampshire primary voters. Rick Perry is in second place with 18 percent of voters saying they would support him, and Ron Paul takes third place with 13 percent of the vote. No other candidate makes it into double digits.

The results are almost identical to those of another poll released Thursday by Magellan strategies, which found Romney leading with 36 percent, followed by Perry with 18 percent, and Ron Paul with 14 percent.

A third poll released Thursday found slightly different results: Romney leading with 41 percent, followed by Ron Paul with 14 percent and Jon Huntsman with 10 percent. Perry received only 8 percent in that poll. New Hampshire experts dismissed the study, saying it included too many independents and too few conservative voters.

Romney continues to maintain high favorability in the first-in-the-nation primary state: Seventy-seven percent of likely primary voters say they have a somewhat or very favorable view of him, while just 21 percent express a somewhat or very unfavorable view of him. Perry is also popular, with 61 percent having a favorable view, and 33 percent holding an unfavorable view. Support is more divided for third place Paul, with 51 percent saying they have a favorable opinion, and 44 percent saying they hold an unfavorable opinion.

However, with the primary still a few months away, Rasmussen found that most voters are not entirely certain whom they will vote for. Sixty-six percent say they are not sure of their vote, while just 34 percent say they are certain whom they will vote for.

Rasmussen surveyed 750 likely New Hampshire Republican primary voters using robo-calls on September 21. The margin of error is plus or minus 4 percentage points.