Former Bay State Gov. Mitt Romney cleaned house in a hyped New Hampshire straw poll yesterday, even as his national poll numbers show signs of trouble.
Romney received 35 percent of votes in the first-ever straw poll of the Republican Party state committee in New Hampshire, home to the first-in-the-nation primary. He was followed by U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas with 14 percent, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty with 8 percent and Sarah Palin with 7 percent.
The New Hampshire straw poll was conducted by ABC News and WMUR-TV and sanctioned by the New Hampshire Republican State Committee, which elected Tea Party figure Jack Kimball as chairman yesterday. Some political watchers were dubious about the poll, representative of 276 committee members.
“It’s an initial taking of the temperature of the activists in New Hampshire, but I would caution reading too much into it. I’m sure the situation is very fluid right now even among activists,” said Dante Scala, a political science professor at the University of New Hampshire. “There are going to be a lot of twists and turns between this January and next.”