Obama holds lead over Romney in New Hampshire

at 10:48 AM ET, 04/24/2012

President Obama is holding onto a high single-digit lead over former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney in New Hamphire, according to a new WMUR poll.
Obama has a healthy lead in New Hampshire. (JASON REED - REUTERS)

Among likely voters, Obama leads Romney 51 percent to 42 percent. Last fall those numbers were reversed, with Romney leading Obama 50 to 42 percent in the Granite State.

Despite his frequent visits to New Hampshire during the Republican primary and the fact that he served as governor in neighboring Massachusetts for four years, Romney is not viewed favorably in the Granite State. Only 36 percent of all adults view the Republican candidate positively while 51 percent view him negatively. Even among Republicans his favorability rating is only 43 percent.

Obama’s job approval has climbed back up to 50 percent since last fall, but that rise in support comes mostly from Democrats. He continues to score low marks with independents and Republicans. However, in a head-to-head with Romney, independents break for Obama 40 to 35 percent.

“The Republican nomination process has weakened Romney in his backyard,” concluded UNH pollster Andrew Smith.

New Hampshire has only four electoral votes, but opinion in the closely divided, independent-heavy state sheds some light on Romney’s overall prospects. It is one of nine states that the Fix considers truly swing in 2012. George W. Bush won it in 2000 but it flipped to Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry four years later. In 2008, President Obama won it by nine points.

 
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