Suffolk University pollster David Paleologos has released a new poll of Republican voters in New Hampshire that shows Mitt Romney with a very comfortable lead. Romney polls at 41%, with Ron Paul at 14% and Newt Gingrich also at 14%. The big move here, in line with national polling, is by Gingrich, who jumped from 4% in the last Suffolk poll in New Hampshire. All other candidates are in single digits, including Jon Huntsman, who has staked his candidacy on his New Hampshire showing. Paleologos has his doubts about anyone catching Romney in New Hampshire, making the excellent point that the Ron Paul candidacy, in New Hampshire, has been a blessing for Romney.
“Every Republican candidate that surges in the national polls hits a firewall in New Hampshire,” said David Paleologos, director of Suffolk University’s Political Research Center. “We’ve seen this with surges from Bachmann, Perry, Cain and now Gingrich. A Romney loss here is highly improbable, and Romney’s best insurance policy in New Hampshire is Ron Paul, whose fixed support takes 14 percent off the table.”
I agree. If Romney is able to sneak a win in Iowa this race could be over quickly.
Romney has also put out a new ad, as well as an “open letter” to President Obama. In the ad Romney utilizes video footage of candidate Obama, and in one instance clearly takes half of a sentence and uses it badly out of context. The Romney video shows Obama saying “If we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose.” But what he actually said was “Senator McCain’s campaign actually said, and I quote, ‘If we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose’.” So Romney has chosen to totally distort what was said by taking only a portion of a statement, and making it appear that Obama said something that he had not. It is something that has taken hold with Republican Presidential candidates, with Rick Perry having used it earlier on an Obama remark relative to our efforts to attract foreign companies. Ben Smith over at Politico covered the story, and writes that distortion or not Romney likes the attention. Of course the Romney camp defended the distortion:
We used that quote intentionally to show that President Obama is doing exactly what he criticized McCain of doing four years ago. Obama doesn’t want to talk about the economy because of his failed record.
The tactic by Romney should be condemned by all. It just feeds the cynicism that surrounds national politics these days, and in my opinion is corrosive to the system. But in today’s political market I guess that makes me naive.