Poll watcher: Romney strong in N.H. before Gingrich endorsement


Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (John Adkisson)

The Union Leader cited Gingrich’s leadership qualities in their endorsement, a trait that appears to be his strongest suit in the WMUR-UNH poll. Some 25 percent of GOP likely voters named Gingrich as the strongest leader among the Republican field, compared with 16 percent who said he’s the most believable and 5 percent who rate him as the most likable. Romney still led Gingrich on all attributes by wide margins.

It’s unclear how much the endorsement will boost Gingrich in the State (the Post’s Chris Cillizza and Aaron Blake analyzed the possibilities), but The New York Times’s Nate Silver finds that past endorsement winners fared much better on election day than they did in pre-endorsement polls.

Mormonism hurts Romney in primary — A third of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents say the Mormon religion is not a Christian faith, including more than half of white evangelical Protestants, according to a poll released last week by the Pew Research Center. The persistent doubt of Mormons (similar numbers said Mormonism was not a Christian religion in 2007) hurts Mitt Romney’s chances at the GOP nomination but appears to be less of a barrier in the general election. (Check out our blog post on how Romney’s religion might impact voters in the primaries).

Despite Romney’s lower support among white evangelical Protestants (17 percent in the Pew poll) than among white mainline Protestants and white Catholics (26 percent each), evangelicals are his strongest Republican supporters in a general election matchup with Obama. Fully 79 percent of Republican white evangelicals say they’ll “strongly” support Romney against Obama, compared with 71 percent of mainline Protestants and 66 percent of Catholics.

Younger Americans less connected to military — A smaller share of Americans are bearing the nation’s military burden, and younger adults are among the least connected to military service members, according to a report on survey and Census data by the Pew Social & Demographic trends project. One  in three adults under age 30 have an immediate family member who’s served in the military, compared with a majority of those ages 30 to 49 and over three quarters of Americans ages 50 and older. The report notes that only one out of 200 adults has served on active duty military in the past decade.

Those with military family ties are more apt to see the United States as the greatest country in the world and to disapprove of Obama’s job as commander in chief than those without direct military ties. But at least half of each group sees the Iraq and Afghanistan wars as not worth fighting. The report follows a larger analysis of attitudes of veterans released in October.

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Scott Clement is a survey research analyst for The Washington Post. Scott specializes in public opinion about politics, election campaigns and public policy.

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