CONCORD, N.H. – New Hampshire voters love Mitt Romney, they’re just not in love with him, according to a tracking poll released Sunday morning.
Romney, who still holds a commanding 15-point lead, slipped for the fourth consecutive day in the Suffolk University/7News two-day tracking poll, dropping four points to 35 percent, a total fall of eight points since Tuesday.
Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, is in second with 20 percent, up four points from Tuesday. The candidate who has paid the most attention to the Granite State, Jon Huntsman, holds third place with 11 percent, trailed by Newt Gingrich at 9 percent and second-place Iowa finisher Rick Santorum at 8 percent.
Santorum has been drawing strong crowds in New Hampshire and, by virtue of his Iowa performance, generating heavy media attention. At a Saturday-afternoon event in Hollis, a barn hit overflow capacity and forced onlookers to climb into the rafters to hear him speak, while more than a hundred more milled around outside. Several heavyweight reporters from major media organizations were on hand.
But so far there is trace evidence that Santorum has converted that buzz into an elevated standing in the polls.
The statewide poll spoke with 250 respondents on both Jan. 6 and Jan.7 for a two-day total of 500 likely voters, and carries an error margin of plus/minus 4.4 percentage points.
All of the calls for the poll were completed prior to the start of Saturday night’s debate, Suffolk said, which came just 12 hours before a second, far feistier debate Sunday morning.