Romney Poised for Landslide Victory in NH
Ron Paul is a distant second in poll
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 5, 2012 2:54 PM CST
A volunteer hands out a sticker before a Republican presidential candidate former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney event at a Boys and Girls Club, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2012, in Salem, N.H.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

(Newser) – Mitt Romney may have only squeaked out a win in Iowa, but he's going to cruise to an overwhelming victory next week in New Hampshire, according to the latest Suffolk University/7News poll. Romney leads all candidates with a whopping 41%; his closest competitor, Ron Paul, has just 18%, and Iowa victor Rick Santorum merely 8%. Jon Huntsman and Newt Gingrich are tied with 7%. Rick Perry has 0%.

The results make sense given New Hampshire's primary voters, who are less conservative and less evangelical, the Washington Post points out—45% identified themselves as either liberal or moderate in a 2008 CNN exit poll. Ed Morrissey at Hot Air notes that the poll sample group was 46% independent, so Paul isn't being undersold here. "Absent an uncharacteristic and game-changing error from Romney … the best that anyone can hope to do is change the order of finish below Romney," he concludes. (South Carolina on Jan. 21 will be a truer test of Romney's strength, notes the National Journal.)