Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney holds a wide lead over his Republican rivals in New Hampshire, where he is seen as the strongest leader and most electable presidential candidate in the field, but the GOP race there remains unsettled a month before the nation’s first primary, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
Romney has the edge on most issues and candidate qualities tested in the new poll, and his strength in New Hampshire contrasts with his far shakier position in Iowa. He led throughout the summer and fall in Iowa, but recent polls show him locked in a competitive race with former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee.
Although Huckabee has surged in Iowa, whose caucuses mark the official start of the presidential nominating campaign on Jan. 3, that success has not yet translated to New Hampshire, which has a more socially liberal GOP electorate. New Hampshire voters will cast ballots five days after Iowa.
Romney enters the final month of campaigning with a sizable lead drawing support from 37 percent of likely primary voters, nearly double that of his closest competitor, Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), who registers at 20 percent. Former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani is third at 16 percent.