From the midweek Morning Jolt:
Romney’s New Hampshire Lead, Solid as Granite So Far
It’s not the most dramatic of headlines, and I’m not sure we should have expected much movement in New Hampshire in the past few weeks. But for Romney fans, the latest survey should be somewhat reassuring: “Former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney continues to lead a field of Republican presidential candidates, according to the latest WMUR Granite State Poll conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center. In the latest poll, 35 percent of likely Republican primary voters said they would vote for Romney. Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann climbed into second place after a strong showing in June’s New Hampshire debate, with 12 percent of the vote. Texas Rep. Ron Paul had 7 percent, and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who has not announced a presidential bid, also had 7 percent. Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who also has not declared, got 4 percent of the vote.”
Perhaps the more significant result is this one: “In a hypothetical presidential race between Romney and President Barack Obama, Romney leads with 47 percent of the vote to Obama’s 43 percent. Romney has held a lead over Obama since February.”
“Not much to say here other than one wonders if anyone will seriously contest New Hampshire,” writes Doug Mataconis.
Meanwhile, Romney is expected to have a monster fundraising quarter: “The strength of Mitt Romney’s war chest — expected to be between $15 million and $20 million — will be the yardstick against which other GOP presidential candidates’ are measured. The former Massachusetts governor’s official second-quarter haul will become known in the next few weeks. He faced high expectations after having raised $10 million in pledges during a single day of calls, which his campaign sought to tamp down on. Only three GOP presidential contenders — former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R), former Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman (R) and pizza magnate Herman Cain (R) — have released their second-quarter numbers; none of them came close to Romney’s suspected haul. Pawlenty raised $4.2 million, a figure considered relatively disappointing for a candidate of his stature, while Huntsman raised $4.1 million, a figure padded in part by self-contributions from his personal fortune. Cain said last week that he’d raised just under $2.5 million.”
Those four electoral votes of New Hampshire might be key, if the GOP can win back those traditional states of Indiana, North Carolina Virginia and the one electoral vote in Nebraska that Obama won and keep Florida. (Recall that the Obama campaign, in the words of the New York Times, is optimistic that Gov. Rick Scott’s troubles will put Florida “in play.” Is it a bad sign if you think you still have a chance to win states you won last time?)
Under 2012 redistricting, putting New Hampshire, Indiana, North Carolina, Virginia, the Nebraska straggler and Florida in the GOP pile gives them 252 electoral votes, needing 18 more to win the presidency. They could get those 18 electoral votes in Ohio or Pennsylvania alone, or out of a selection of other likely swing states: Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, Wisconsin, Iowa, or perhaps even economically-troubled Michigan…