Romney Tops NH Straw Poll; Tea Partier Wins GOP Chair
Ron Paul finishes second to Romney; then Pawlenty, Palin
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 22, 2011 3:37 PM CST
In this Nov. 16, 2010 file photo, former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney is seen in Dallas.   (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)
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(Newser) – We're still nearly two years from the 2012 election, no better time to have a straw poll of a few hundred people in New Hampshire steal the political headlines. And the winner is: Mitt Romney, of course. He was supposed to win on his home turf, the only question being whether he'd do so in convincing fashion. And, as Politico reports, he did. (Maybe the bigger news is that Tea Party favorite Jack Kimball defeated an establishment candidate to become state GOP chair, notes the Washington Post.). The straw poll results:

  1. Mitt Romney, 35%
  2. Ron Paul, 11%
  3. Tim Pawlenty, 8%
  4. Sarah Palin, 7%

  1. Michele Bachmann, Jim DeMint, 5%
  2. Pizza mogul Herman Cain, 4%
  3. Tied at 3%: Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Chris Christie, Mitch Daniels, Mike Pence, and Mike Huckabee
  4. Tied at 2%: Rudy Giuliani, Judd Gregg, Gary Johnson, and "other"
  5. Tied at 1%: Donald Trump, Haley Barbour
  6. Jon Huntsman Jr. and John Thune were on the ballot but got no votes.
Politico notes that only Romney, Pawlenty, and Santorum spent any time in the state. The bottom line, from ABC's The Note blog: "Romney's still the solid frontrunner here, but there's plenty of room for another Republican to break through here. Pawlenty's showing was also impressive, given how new he is to the scene. He has, however, been working New Hampshire, as have his supporters."