BOSTON (Reuters) – Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney leads potential Republican primary opponents in the early voting state of New Hampshire, but celebrity candidate Donald Trump has substantial support, according to a new poll.
Public Policy Polling’s survey, released on Tuesday, showed 31 percent support for Romney, who many see as the front-runner for the Republican nomination to go up against Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential election.
That was similar to the 32 percent that Romney received in the state’s 2008 primary, when he finished second to John McCain, but down from 40 percent when the group last polled in November. Romney has not officially announced a bid.
“Mitt Romney’s looked like the runaway favorite in all of our New Hampshire polling to date,” said Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling.
New Hampshire will hold its primary on Feb 14, 2012. Candidates jockey for position in the first-in-the-nation primary, which often sets the tone for the campaign season.