A lot of useful information was gleaned from exit polls of 2010 midterm voters earlier this week. In New Hampshire, exit polls revealed that among Republican voters former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney holds a sizable lead among other 2012 GOP contenders such as Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee.
Story from Examiner.com:
A CNN exit poll showed 39 percent of Republicans expressing a preference for Romney in the state’s first-in-the-nation primary. Sarah Palin was at 18 percent, Mike Huckabee at 11 percent, and Newt Gingrich at 8 percent; 19 percent said they would back another possible contender.
An exit poll last Tuesday by the Associated Press showed four in 10 favoring Romney, the former Massachusetts governor.
About a fifth of the Republicans favored Palin, the former Alaska governor and 2008 vice presidential candidate. She was about even with former Arkansas Gov. Huckabee. They were slightly head, said the AP, of Gingrich, the former House speaker.
The AP said its exit poll showed Romney was also the top choice over Palin, Huckabee and Gingrich among independents, who outnumber Republicans and Democrats in the Granite State and can vote in either primary.
Not so stunning results in my opinion. Mitt Romney has positioned himself very well in the Republican field. He has the economic credibility and has been working the off season trail in Iowa and New Hampshire. The one big piece of dead weight around Romney’s neck is the Massachusetts version of ObamaCare which isn’t very unpopular amongst the GOP base. Not only is it unpopular by being seen as a state government takeover of health care, the program is also heavily going bankrupt and has served as an example of where ObamaCare will be heading on the national level.
Romney has defended his signature on the Massachusetts health care law by saying he had to compromise with the Democrat-controlled state legislature. This is probably somewhat true, however, most party faithful will find it hard to forgive him.
All that said, he did do well in the exit polls but look for this issue to become front and center as soon as the primary campaigns heat up. Look for Huckabee commercials running down how Massachusetts is going bankrupt over Romney’s health care plan.