FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Romney still leading, Huntsman out of the Hunt in New Hampshire?
Three quick polls of New Hampshire came out this week to try to measure the effect of Iowa on New Hampshire. Predictably, the top three of Iowa are now the top three in New Hampshire.
This matters most to the one candidate that put nothing into Iowa and everything into New Hampshire: Jon Huntsman.
I don’t expect any huge poll errors this time, though. Caucuses are weird, and closed caucuses are probably one of the hardest things to poll. But New Hampshire’s event is an open primary, which is much more like the traditional general election that pollsters have practiced. I expect normalcy when polling this state.
I’m not going to analyze it too deeply though, not as long as Mitt Romney holds the huge leads he has. In December he mostly fell in a range of 33-39. Ron Paul stayed in the 17-21 range. Rick Santorum was steady from 2-4. Jon Huntsman was competitive for the key third place spot in his 9-13 range, with Newt Gingrich sliding from 24-12.
But that’s all gone now. Romney now appears to be pushing over 40 and Santorum has jumped to double figures. Paul has stayed firm, so the candidates losing out are Huntsman who now has gone as low as 8, and Gingrich who is entirely showing in the single figures now.
Two of three polls have Huntsman in fifth place. The other has him in fourth, 30 points off the lead. For a one-state candidate, that’s death.
The polls themselves: Rasmussen Reports, Suffolk University/WHDH 7News, and JZ Analytics/Washington Times. And I’ve already been asked this before so I’ll just say it here: JZ Analytics appears to be a Zogby spinoff, but is not a poll in the style of Zogby Interactive. Don’t just dismiss it because of the Zogby name.