The poll represents a strong showing for Romney in a state in which he needs a resounding victory. While there has been little quality polling in Iowa since Perry entered the race, all indications are that the Texas governor will run strong there. Meanwhile, a Winthrop University poll released Tuesday showed Perry narrowly ahead in South Carolina
, which casts its ballots after New Hampshire.
If Perry wins Iowa and South Carolina, a big win in New Hampshire would allow Romney to take his campaign to the next tier of early-voting states, such as Nevada, Michigan, Florida and Arizona, where he would have the opportunity to capture the momentum heading into Super Tuesday.
The Suffolk University poll was conducted Sept. 18-20 for Boston-based WHDH-TV, surveying 400 likely Republican primary voters. The margin of error is +/- 4.9 percent.