CNN’s Political Ticker reports that Mitt Romney continues to do well in the states that truly matter:
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has jumped to the head of the pack of 2008 Republican presidential contenders in New Hampshire, according to a CNN/WMUR poll out Tuesday.
Romney shot past former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Sen. John McCain of Arizona in the latest poll, conducted Wednesday through Monday by the University of New Hampshire. Former Tennessee senator and “Law and Order” star Fred Thompson runs fourth after taking his first steps toward a campaign, the survey found.
– 28% of those polled support Mitt Romney
– John McCain and Rudy Giuliani draw the support of 20% each
– 11% support Fred Thompson (who has yet to officially announce his candidacy)
The poll was, obviously, conducted “after last week’s CNN-WMUR-New Hampshire Union Leader debate in Manchester.” As CNN points out, Romney “trailed McCain and Giuliani by 11 percentage points in the last CNN/WMUR poll, conducted in late March and early April.”
Although this is good news for Romney, he and his supporters have to realize that they do not ‘own’ NH: 57% “of Granite State Republicans said they had […] no idea who they will support.” However, among this group too, the numbers are in Romney’s favor:
Among the top three, 32 percent found Romney was the most likeable candidate. Giuliani came in second with 28 percent, while McCain was third at 12 percent.
Partially that is:
But 31 percent of those polled said Giuliani had the best chance of beating the eventual Democratic nominee, compared to 25 percent for Romney and 14 percent for McCain.
When asked who the strongest leader of the leading trio is, 26% answered Giuliani, another 26% McCain, and 25% answered Mitt Romney. In other words: too close to call.
As a commenter at the PT points out, this poll also provides good news for Ron Paul, who trippled his support: he went from 1% to 3%…
As I have stated on a few occasions at my own blog, I would endorse Mitt Romney if I were American. I think that Mitt Romney is a great manager, a great leader and someone who knows what he is talking about. Above all, I like his approach to problem solving: whereas Bush operates on the basis of positive affirmation, Romney constantly challenges his own views / policies. This is what is called the “Bain Way” (which admittedly sounds a bit corny). When talking about a specific issue, he brings in experts who disagree passionately with each other, lets them debate for a couple of hours, weighs in himself and draws conclusions. He is also well known for his ability to question his own views by attacking it intellectually from all sides.
Of course, Romney is more of a social conservative than I am, but his record in Massachusetts shows that he is a social conservative who chooses to defend instead of attack. In other words, laws that are in place now are unlikely to be reversed by Romney.
Romney does have one problem, a relatively minor one, in NH: he is considered to be less “believable” than Giuliani and McCain.
Please don’t shoot me.