Romney Accepted as GOP Nominee? Gallup Poll Says Yes

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The South Carolina GOP primary could bring a new frontrunner, or a more secure Romney lead. Photo Credit: 25or6to4

Romney Leads: Was the Timing Significant?

The poll was conducted immediately after the Iowa caucuses, which Mitt Romney won, edging Rick Santorum by only eight votes. Since Santorum and Ron Paul had strong polling numbers going into the caucuses, some questioned whether Romney would win and earn the momentum necessary to carry him through subsequent primaries. Despite the thin margin, this poll suggests that Romney’s Iowa win may have cemented his frontrunner status in the eyes of potential voters. Despite Rick Santorum’s impressive effort in Iowa, the poll indicates that significantly more voters believe Romney will be the nominee.

Does Confidence Mirror Favorability?

Although no sharp surge is noticeable, Romney’s actual support among potential voters appears to becoming more solid as more become convinced he will be the nominee. Aggregate polling from RealClearPolitics has had him as the frontrunner in January  by margins of eight to 12 points. This is a sharp contrast from December’s numbers, which had Gingrich leading by margins of two to 17 points, except just before the holidays when Romney and Gingrich consistently tied. National favorability for Santorum and Paul remain lower, at 16.2 and 12.4, respectively.

GOP Race: Is Another Shakeup Coming?

The results of the Gallup poll indicate that a single statewide electoral process can have impact on voters’ confidence in the candidates. This may cause future changes in polling, as Romney secured another victory in New Hampshire last night. However, John Huntsman seems to be on an upward surge, coming in third place in New Hampshire after previously polling in single digits. Most of the GOP candidates are now headed to South Carolina, where the next primary will be held January 21. Polling has Romney leading that state by just over 10 points, a much thinner margin than his 20 point lead going into the New Hampshire primary. Strategic campaigning by Romney’s opponents could bring about a change that affects voters’ perceptions.

Sources

Gallup. Romney Now Dominates GOP Expectations for Who Will Win. Accessed January 11, 2012.

RealClearPolitics. 2012 Republican Presidential Nomination. Accessed January 11, 2012.

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