N.H. Poll: Only Bachmann Gains Ground On Romney
9:28 a.m. CORRECTION: The previous version of this post incorrectly cited the month of the previous general election poll. The poll was released in late April.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney remains the frontrunner in the first-in-the-nation New Hampshire Republican presidential primary, with Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., leaping into second place, according to a new WMUR-TV Granite State Poll released late Tuesday.
Romney leads the poll of 357 likely Republican primary voters, conducted June 21-July 1 by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, with 35 percent, down slightly from 41 percent in a UNH poll in early June conducted for the Boston Globe. Romney has hovered between 32 percent and 41 percent in UNH polling since the Spring of 2010.
Bachmann is second at 12 percent, a jump of eight points from the Globe poll last month. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Tex., and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani tie for third at seven percent. In his debut in the UNH poll, Texas Gov. Rick Perry is at four percent.
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin earn just three percent, with businessman Herman Cain and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman at only two percent. Other candidates are at one percent or fewer, and 19 percent of voters are undecided.
Bachmann's jump of eight points was the largest gain for any single candidate. Not including Perry, who had not appeared in previous surveys, Bachmann was the only candidate to increase his or her vote share more than one point since the early June Globe survey. In fact, most candidates saw their share of the vote drop, as the percentage of voters who said they were undecided increased from 13 percent early last month.
Bachmann had been polling consistently at four percent in the primary since she was added to the UNH poll in early May, garnering the same percentage in three consecutive surveys. The percentage of Republican voters who view Bachmann favorably has doubled -- from 26 percent to 52 percent -- since the early May poll, while the percentage who have an unfavorable opinion of Bachmann has actually dropped from 29 percent to 23 percent.
The poll was the first taken by the UNH Survey Center since a June 13 N.H. debate where Bachmann received widespread praise for her performance.
Romney remains the odds-on favorite in the Granite State: 68 percent of Republican voters have a favorable opinion of him, while only 24 percent view him unfavorably. Still, that is down slightly from a 70 percent-21 percent split in early May.
Huntsman and Pawlenty have struggled to gain traction in the state. While the percentage of New Hampshire Republican voters who have a favorable opinion of Huntsman has increased from 9 percent to 19 percent in the last two months, the percentage who view him unfavorably has jumped by a similar margin: from 12 percent to 23 percent.
Pawlenty's favorable rating, meanwhile, has remained virtually steady over the past two months (38 percent in early May, 39 percent in Tuesday's poll). But the percentage who have an unfavorable opinion of Pawlenty has increased from 12 percent to 20 percent.
The poll also shows Romney with a slight lead over President Obama among all likely voters, 47 percent to 43 percent. In late April, Romney led Obama, 50 percent to 43 percent.
Obama leads Bachmann, 47 percent to 41 percent. The president also leads Pawlenty, 47 percent to 38 percent, up from a 45-percent-to-38-percent lead in late April.
UNH surveyed 729 likely voters, for a margin of error of +/- 3.6 percent. The margin of error among the subsample of likely Republican primary voters was +/- 5.2 percent.