Magellan Strategies’ new survey in New Hampshire finds Mitt Romney still ahead with 41 percent, Ron Paul in second at 21 percent, Newt Gingrich and Jon Huntsman tied in third at 12 percent, Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann at 4 percent each, and Rick Perry at the back with 3 percent.
The favorable/unfavorable splits for the candidates are surprising in some cases: Ron Paul is at 47/42; Newt Gingrich is at 37/58; Mitt Romney is at 69/27; Bachmann is at 29/60; Rick Santorum is at 35/46; Huntsman is at 43/39; and Rick Perry is at an abysmal 19/69.
The sample is 59 percent registered Republicans, 41 percent registered independents, of whom 91 percent say they are “extremely likely” to vote in the New Hampshire Republican presidential primary. The remaining 9 percent classify themselves as either “very likely” or “somewhat likely.”
What this tells us is that the pressure is on to stop Romney in Iowa. As you’ve no doubt heard, no Republican has won Iowa and New Hampshire and then lost the nomination. Having said that, Romney winning both might put enormous pressure on the rest of the field to depart and unite behind one anti-Romney candidate, in an effort to beat Romney in South Carolina and Florida, two states where the former Massachusetts governor trails, at least as of mid-December. (Of course, if Romney wins Iowa and New Hampshire, he’ll probably see a bandwagon effect in those following states pretty quickly.)