An Early Report on WMUR Numbers in New Hampshire
I am told that the WMUR poll will read something like this tonight – Romney 24 (down 9 from the previous) Giuliani 23 (up 5 from the previous) and McCain 17 (up 5 from the previous).
If true, this is an ominious sign for Romney, whose strategy is contingent on building momentum by winning the early states. Other recent polls have already suggested that his lead is tenuous in the Granite State, and his national numbers have been in free fall after receiving a post Ames bounce. Considered together, these numbers cut into one of the central arguments made by Romney supporters all year–that although he has lower name recognition than his chief rivals, the more people get to know him, the more the like him. These results would suggest just the opposite.
The WMUR result, if confirmed later, also would represent great news for Giuliani. If he could pull off a win in one of the early states leading up to Florida and the big Feb. 5 states, he’d be very hard to beat. This would also reinforce the “McCain surge” narrative, putting him back in the mix in a state he won in 2000.