When PPP polled New Hampshire in April Michele Bachmann was stuck at 4%. She's gained 14 points over the last three months and now finds herself within single digits of Mitt Romney. Romney continues to lead the way in the state with 25% to 18% for Bachmann, 11% for Sarah Palin, 9% for Ron Paul, 7% for Rick Perry and Herman Cain, 6% for Jon Huntsman and Tim Pawlenty, and 4% for Newt Gingrich.
Bachmann's surge in New Hampshire is being built on the back of the Tea Party. Among voters identifying themselves as members of that movement she's leading the way at 25% with Palin and Romney tying for second at 16%, and Cain also placing in double digits at 11%. Only 33% of Republican primary voters in the state identify themselves as Tea Partiers though and with the remaining folks Romney's way ahead with 33% to 13% for Bachmann, and 10% for Huntsman and Paul.
Romney's starting to show some signs of weakness in New Hampshire. His support is down 12 points from 37% on the iteration of our April poll that didn't include Mike Huckabee or Donald Trump. His favorability numbers are headed in the wrong direction as well. He's dropped a net 18 points from +49 at 68/19 to +31 at 60/29. He's certainly still the front runner in the state but he's not looking as inevitable as he did a few months ago.
Bachmann is smart, experienced, and charismatic, so it's no surprise that people around the country are warming to her as they learn more. As Matt Continetti wrote in yesterday's Weekly Newsletter:
If you had told me, back on Election Day 2008, that within three years I would oppose a deal to increase the debt ceiling, take seriously calls to restore (something like) the gold standard, and believe that Michele Bachmann could not only win the 2012 Republican nomination but be elected president of the United States, I would've laughed you out of the room. But here we are in July 2011, and I am moving toward all of those positions.
And the PPP poll goes to show that the Bachmann movement may just be beginning.
Want to know more about Michele Bachmann? Check out Continetti's cover story on the Queen of the Tea Party here.
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