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article imageNew poll reflects Romney's appeal across GOP spectrum

By Michael Krebs     Jun 13, 2011 in Politics
A new USA Today/Gallup poll released on Sunday showed a surge in support for former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, demonstrating also an appeal for Mr. Romney across a spectrum of GOP demographics and philosophies.
Former Massachusetts governor and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is likely feeling confident ahead of Monday night's GOP debate on CNN in New Hampshire.
The latest USA Today/Gallup poll released on Sunday puts Mr. Romney at a comfortable lead among his competitors. Romney's appeal to those surveyed was up 7 percentage points from May.
In late May, Romney attracted the support of 17 percent of those polled, and in June that support climbed to 24 percent. Comparatively, Sarah Palin, in second place while not appearing to even be running for president, moved from 15 percent in May to 16 percent in June. Pizza tycoon Herman Cain rose one percentage point to 9 percent; Texas Congressman Ron Paul slipped three percentage points to 7 percent; and fifth place was a tie between Pawlenty and Santorum.
"Romney appears to have gotten a boost in recent weeks after the official announcement of his candidacy," Gallup reported. "Gallup's prior update of May 20-24 came just after former co-leaders Mike Huckabee and Donald Trump announced they were not candidates for the nomination; that poll showed Romney and Palin in a virtual tie. Since then, Romney's support has increased and Palin's has been flat, leaving Romney with an eight-percentage-point advantage."
Romney is campaigning on an economic message and has thus far not weighed in meaningfully on the social issues of interest to the GOP's Conservative wing. However, the survey's results also demonstrate an appeal for Mr. Romney across the spectrum of Republican voter interests.
Among those surveyed who consider themselves to be Moderate/Liberal, Romney attracted 23 percent of the interest, and among Conservatives he appealed to 25 percent.
"Romney holds at least a slight advantage over his competitors among most Republican subgroups. However, he has particular strength among older Republicans and those with a college education. Additionally, he holds a wide lead among Republicans who attend church every week," Gallup reported. "Those patterns of support could serve Romney well in the primaries and caucuses, as they are groups that historically tend to vote at higher rates in elections."
While GOP front-runners tend to emerge early and to win the Republican nomination, the last Republican presidential contest featured Rudy Giuliani ahead in the national polls, demonstrating that it is still early in the contest.
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