NH Poll shows Perry falling, Romney surging
This snapshot of the race as it stands today reflects some hardening of opinion with Perry slipping significantly and Romney gaining considerable ground.
Some pundits are making a big deal about Jon Huntsman's doubling of support to 10% but considering how low he was previously, his boost is inconsequential to the eventual outcome - unless he can double that support again.
Romney (41 percent) gained 5 points since June, followed by Ron Paul (14 percent), and Jon Huntsman (10 percent). Huntsman and Paul gained 6 percent each since the last poll.
The single-digit tier consisted of Perry (8 percent), Sarah Palin (6 percent), Michele Bachmann (5 percent), and Newt Gingrich (4 percent), while Rick Santorum and Buddy Roemer each received 1 percent. Eleven percent of likely New Hampshire GOP primary voters were undecided.
"Mitt Romney is saying 'get out of my back yard' and making New Hampshire his strong firewall despite showing some weakness in the other states' early primaries," said David Paleologos, director of Suffolk University's Political Research Center. "The anti-Romney candidate at this point could be either Ron Paul, who has polled consistently over the past year, or Jon Huntsman, whose numbers are really growing in the Granite State."
Meanwhile, Perry tops Romney in a new Florida poll 28-22. These two polls reveal the conundrum for GOP voters; Romney runs well in the north but doesn't excite southern conservatives. Perry doesn't run as well in the north but would energize the conservative base in the south. Either one could beat Obama, although at the moment, independents prefer Romney.
It's a nice problem to have, at this point.