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These numbers coming from a Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey out today of New Hampshire Republican Primary voters. The numbers for Trump assume that he actually runs which has not been decided as of yet. Still, the fact that he could seemingly enter the race and immediately challenge Romney for New Hampshire is quite something. Iowa and South Carolina might be different stories but Romney has similar troubles in both states as well.

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Results from PPP:

Mitt Romney’s still the clear early front runner to take the Republican primary in New Hampshire next year but for the first time in our polling of the race PPP finds someone within single digits of him…Donald Trump.

If Trump actually run 21% of New Hampshire GOP voters say they’d vote for him, compared to 27% for Romney. The key to Trump’s relatively strong showing? He does well with birthers and Tea Partiers, two groups he has seemed to actively court with his public comments of late. 42% of primary voters firmly say they do not believe Barack Obama was born in the United States to 35% who believe that he was and 23% who aren’t sure. Trump leads Romney 22-21 with the birther crowd, but Romney holds the overall lead because he’s up by a much wider margin with the folks who dismiss the birther theory.

Trump also leads Romney 23-21 with the Republican primary voters who consider themselves to be Tea Party members but that’s only 30% of the electorate and Romney’s up by a good margin with the folks who don’t identify with that movement.

If you take Trump out of the picture Romney maintains the customary wide lead he has shown in most polling of the state. On the standard Republican primary question we ask in every state Romney gets 31% to 15% for Mike Huckabee, 13% for Newt Gingrich, 10% for Sarah Palin and Ron Paul, 4% for Michele Bachmann and Tim Pawlenty, and 2% for Haley Barbour.

Interesting that if Trump is not in the mix, Romney easily wins New Hampshire according to PPP.

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Nate Ashworth is the Founder and Senior Editor of Election Central. He's been blogging elections and politics for almost a decade. He started covering the 2008 Presidential Election which turned into a full-time political blog in 2012 and 2016.

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