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January 01, 2012

Romney has big lead in new New Hampshire poll

Mitt Romney has opened up a big lead among New Hampshire Republicans as that state's first-in-the-nation primary draws closer, a new Suffolk University poll released Sunday night has found.

The poll showed Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts. leading with 41 percent of the vote, followed by Texas Rep. Ron Paul at 15 percent, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at 11 percent, and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman at 9 percent. Trailing were former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who is surging in Iowa polls, as well as Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

Huntsman has skipped Iowa, which holds the nation's first GOP caucus Tuesday, but has made little headway in New Hampshire.

“There is only one candidate who can win both Iowa and New Hampshire,” said David Paleologos, director of Suffolk University’s Political Research Center.  “That candidate is Mitt Romney.  Although the 16 percent undecided is high right now, it is unlikely that Romney will lose New Hampshire, despite what Iowa voters may do.”

The survey polled 500 likely voters on Dec. 30 and 31. Margin of error is plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.

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