Some other interesting items from the CNN/WMUR New Hampshire poll.
One of the most important things to keep in mind is how fluid the race still is: only 13 percent have “definitely decided” who they plan to vote for, with another 21 percent “leaning toward someone” and 66 percent–or about two-thirds of voters–“still trying to decide.” So again, with more than three months to go, everything written now should be viewed with a grain of salt.
With that said, at this point in time, Giuliani has the highest favorability ratings, is seen as the most likeable, and viewed as having the best chance to win in the general election; McCain is believed to have the “right experience” by more voters than any other candidate; and more voters think Romney will “bring needed change.”
As for Thompson skipping the debate? It seems like it was a bigger deal in DC than New Hampshire: two-thirds of voters said it makes no difference to them whether Fred missed it.
Also, following up on my earlier post on Gingrich, Newt polls at 7 percent in New Hampshire, and he pulls 2 points from Romney and Giuliani, and one point each from Huckabee, McCain and Thompson. Also interesting: Newt’s favorability rating went from a net negative of 35-49 in March/April, to a slightly positive 43-39. That still gives him the highest negatives in the field, but it shows that even if a candidate has near universal name recognition, voters’ perceptions can change.