Pollster Pegged Nearly Perfect Top Six
By Dell Hill
Mitt Romney may have strolled through New Hampshire, enroute to a very impressive Republican primary win, but pollster Scott Rasmussen came extremely close to a perfect top six in his final survey of Granite State voters. Rasmussen’s only error was placing Rick Santorum ahead of Newt Gingrich for a fourth place finish. With 98% of the vote tabulated, Gingrich holds a scant 145 vote lead over Santorum, so even that result could change!
Here’s a look at the totals (with 98% of the vote counted) as of 11:45 AM:
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And here’s a look back at the final Rasmussen poll results before the voting started.
“Mitt Romney, the former governor of neighboring Massachusetts, remains well ahead of his nearest rival in Rasmussen Reports’ final survey of the New Hampshire Republican Primary race.
Romney earns 37% support, with Texas Congressman Ron Paul a distant second with 17% of the vote in the latest telephone survey of Likely Republican Primary Voters taken Sunday night. Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman is now in third with 15%, up slightly from 12% late last week.
Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, coming off his photo finish with Romney in last week’s Iowa caucuses, picks up 13% of the vote, unchanged from the previous survey. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich also has made a modest gain, moving from eight percent (8%) support among likely primary voters last week to 12% now.
Perry, who is counting on the January 21 South Carolina Primary to determine the fate of his candidacy, remains in the cellar here with one percent (1%). Another one percent (1%) prefers some other candidate in the race, and three percent (3%) remain undecided.”
Some interesting points:
The Romney percentage was only off slightly (39% to 37%), but the Paul vote was off by a full 6%. An indication, perhaps, that most of the undecided voters (3%) went to Ron Paul? And where did the rest of Paul’s support come from? Paul actually won the far northern Coos County vote by a razor thin margin. Romney won every other county.
The final numbers will undoubtedly show that both Gingrich and Santorum took an awful beating in New Hampshire, while Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman benefited. And neither Ron Paul nor Jon Huntsman has even a flicker of hope of winning the Republican nomination. At this very moment in time, it doesn’t look like Newt Gingrich or Rick Perry have any chance, either. Gingrich was pummeled 37% to 9% by Romney and the write-in vote nearly beat Perry’s dismal (and just barely) 1% showing.
Ron Paul’s campaign was so full of itself for finishing a distant second, they called for all of the other candidates to withdraw and allow the Texas Congressmen the chance to take on Romney one-on-one. One has to chuckle at the timing of Paul’s request. He may have done well in New Hampshire (if losing in a landslide can be considered ‘doing well’), but his popularity in the South is not expected to be anywhere near as strong. In fact, Paul’s campaign is rapidly approaching its most critical point. If Romney wins in South Carolina, it’s all over but the shouting...even for Ron Paul.
However, we all know that the nomination process doesn’t end with just one state primary. It’s on to South Carolina and then Florida. Obviously, Mitt Romney can’t wait. He’s so close to wrapping this thing up he can taste it. In fact, his victory speech after the New Hampshire win sounded very much like an acceptance speech at the convention.
Given the fact that Rasmussen nailed New Hampshire right to the wall with his final poll results, we’ll continue to monitor his predictions and see how South Carolina shakes out.
UPDATE: Here's the final total from Fox News: