Democrats have won New Hampshire's four electoral votes in the past two presidential elections, but a new poll released early Wednesday shows that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has a slight lead over President Obama in the Granite State, while a separate survey shows Romney with a larger lead in that state's first-in-the-nation Republican primary.
The polls were conducted for Bloomberg News by Selzer & Co., the West Des Moines, Iowa, polling firm. In the Republican primary poll, Romney leads with 40 percent of the vote, followed by Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, who is at 17 percent. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich runs third, with 11 percent.
Beleaguered businessman Herman Cain is at 8 percent, while former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who is basing his campaign in the Granite State, is at 7 percent. No other candidate earns more than 3 percent of the vote, and 10 percent of likely primary voters are undecided.
Still, 60 percent of likely primary voters say they could still be persuaded to support another candidate, the same percentage as in Tuesday's Bloomberg News poll of Iowa likely GOP caucusgoers.
In a separate poll of likely general election voters, Romney leads Obama, 50 percent to 40 percent. Nine percent of likely voters are undecided. The subsample carries a large margin of error of +/- 5.5 percent.
Among a slightly larger sample of all Granite Staters, Obama's approval rating is at only 40 percent in the state; 53 percent disapprove of the job he is doing as president.
The primary poll was conducted Nov. 10-12, surveying 504 likely primary voters. The margin of error is +/- 4.4 percent.
The broader poll was conducted Nov. 10-11, surveying 500 adults, 324 of whom were deemed to be likely voters in the general election. The margin of error for the full sample is +/- 4.4 percent.