Romney Surges in New Hampshire

by Robert Costa

The latest Granite State poll shows Romney up by 27 points:

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has surged among Republican voters in New Hampshire, and Rick Perry is a distant fourth, according to a Suffolk University/7NEWS (WHDH TV) poll of likely voters in New Hampshire’s GOP presidential primary.

Romney has opened up a 27-point lead over his nearest rival in New Hampshire, and pundits may have to rethink predictions of a two-man GOP race between Romney and Perry.

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.

The poll’s director, over at Suffolk’s website, says Ron Paul could be the “anti-Romney” in New Hampshire. Huntsman, he adds, could also fill that space, should he continue to gain. Perry, it seems, has room to grow, but so far, he has little momentum in New England.

UPDATE: Ron Paul’s campaign reacts to the Texas congressman’s strong showing: “The poll results demonstrate the emergence, in that state, of a surprise three-way race that omits Texas Governor Rick Perry.”

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