Poll: Nearly One-Third of NH Republicans Would Support Romney in '16

Posted: Nov 28, 2014 9:00 AM

Electorally, New Hampshire is as unpredictable a state as they come. During this past year’s midterm elections, for example, New Hampshire was one of the only states in the nation where a Senate Democrat running for re-election survived. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) hung on by roughly three percentage points, a decisive victory in what was otherwise a terrible election year for her Senate colleagues. Sens. Mark Pryor (D-AR), Mark Begich (D-AK), and Kay Hagan (D-NC) all lost their respective races.

All of which is to say that New Hampshire has history of bucking national trends and electing and re-electing candidates unexpectedly. It’s also the first-in-the-nation primary state. Thus, it’s somewhat interesting to learn that roughly one-third of GOP primary voters in the state have a candidate in mind who they’d support in 2016. According to a freshly-released poll, presidential also-ran Mitt Romney garnered 30 percent of the vote, followed rather distantly by Sen. Rand Paul (11) and Gov. Chris Christie (9).

National Journal has the scoop:

New Hampshire's all-important stamp of approval is Mitt Romney's to lose—if he runs, that is. The former Massachusetts governor and two-time presidential contender leads his potential rivals by a double-digit margin in the early-primary state, with 30 percent of voters expressing their support, according to a Bloomberg Politics/Saint Anselm poll released Monday. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, the runner-up in the hypothetical contest, garnered just 11 percent support.

Leading up to the midterm elections, Romney fashioned himself as a sort of thought leader for the GOP, a seasoned luminary who rises above the political fray. Although he has stuck to the line that he's not running, albeit in varying language, his popular support continues to grow.

The poll suggests, however, that if he did run, he’s in good shape to win the New Hampshire Republican primary once again. Never say never.

UPDATE: Also, don't forget about this.