|Former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain|
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney leads by a significant margin in a New Hampshire Republican presidential primary poll released on Monday that shows the frontrunner with an advantage of 18 percentage points over the field of GOP hopefuls. Romney received 38% of the vote in an Institutes of Politics at Harvard, Saint Anselm poll with former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain and Rep. Ron Paul (R., Texas) getting the support of 20% and 13% of respondents, respectively.
"With Herman Cain showing surprising strength as the 'Romney Alternative' and a compressed primary schedule, Governor Perry may be running out of time in New Hampshire," poll directors Trey Grayson and Neil Levesque wrote in a statement, referencing Texas Gov. Rick Perry. The "Romney Alternative" is a phrase commonly used by New Hampshire politicos to refer to Gov. Romney's main challenger, as he is the clear favorite in the state's upcoming primary. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich followed the top three with 5%, followed by Perry and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman at 4% a piece. Huntsman has unremittingly canvassed New Hampshire as his moderate political platforms on
foreign affairs and economic policy are likely to appeal to independent voters, who are allowed to participate in the state's open primary elections. New Hampshire is historically the nation's first primary every presidential election season, but state officials haven't yet announced its 2012 date as Florida recently moved its March primary to the last week in January to jockey for earlier status. Sources familiar with the process have told TheStreet that the Granite State likely won't set an official primary date until late November, in order to keep other states from leapfrogging New Hampshire's date. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R., Minn.) has committed most of her time to campaigning in Iowa and some in South Carolina, but the congresswoman has spent virtually no time in New Hampshire. It has showed as Bachmann grabbed only 3% of the poll's votes. -- Written by Joe Deaux in New York. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org