Recent polling in New Hampshire regarding prospective Republican presidential candidates reveals Mitt Romney is presently head-and-shoulders above the competition for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination.

The WMUR Granite State Poll shows "40 percent of likely Republican primary voters would vote for Romney," with the next-closest GOP candidate being former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani at 10 percent. Additionally, when asked to choose between a hypothetical matchup of Romney and President Barack Obama, 49 percent selected Romney compared to just 41 percent for Obama.

Why are voting trends in New Hampshire leading up to the 2012 election such a big deal? According to Wikipedia, "Although only a few delegates are chosen in the New Hampshire primary, its real importance comes from the massive media coverage given New Hampshire and Iowa; in recent years the two states received about as much media attention as all other state primaries combined."

In 2008, Romney lost the New Hampshire primary to eventual GOP presidential nominee Sen. John McCain.

The Daily Beast references the New Hampshire polling results. In a related story emerging from the speech Romney delivered last week at the Conservative Political Action Conference, Howard Kurtz at the Daily Beast opines that a major difference between Romney now and Mitt circa 2008 is a newfound willingness to employ humor in his public persona and more frequently reference the work of his father, former Michigan governor George Romney.


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