A new poll of New Hampshire primary voters show Mitt Romney in a solid position nearly two weeks out from the “first in the nation” primary on January 10. A Boston Globe survey of 538 likely GOP primary voters released yesterday shows Romney with 39 percent support in New Hampshire. Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul are tied for second among these voters at 17 percent, while Jon Huntsman is at 11 percent.
The poll confirms other recent polls of New Hampshire Republican voters, and according to RealClearPolitics, Romney averages a 17-point lead over his GOP rivals.
But there is an illuminating bit of information here. Of the sample of those surveyed that identify as activists or supporters of the Tea Party, 44 percent said they supported Romney, with 24 percent for Gingrich. Those numbers do not bode well for the cash-strapped Gingrich campaign that, without the help from the built-in organization of Tea Party groups, will have difficulty making up ground in New Hampshire after the Iowa caucuses. To mount a challenge against Romney in New Hampshire, any candidate would likely have to hold the support of this activist wing of the Republican party. If Gingrich, who has a high level of Tea Party support in South Carolina, can’t consolidate that vote in the Granite State, Romney looks even more likely to win on January 10.