BEDFORD, NH -- Mitt Romney continues to lead the GOP presidential field in New Hampshire, according to the latest non-partisan Suffolk University/7News poll published late Wednesday.
Rick Perry, who leads in several national polls, comes in fourth -- behind Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman.
Here's the breakdown:
11% were undecided
Romney has centered his campaign strategy on victory in New Hampshire, where he owns a home and has been regularly campaigning since the 2008 cycle.
“Mitt Romney is saying ‘get out of my back yard’ and making New Hampshire his strong firewall despite showing some weakness in the other states’ early primaries,” said David Paleologos, director of Suffolk University’s Political Research Center in a statement.
“The anti-Romney candidate at this point could be either Ron Paul, who has polled consistently over the past year, or Jon Huntsman, whose numbers are really growing in the Granite State,” Paleologos said.
Huntsman's campaign, which has shifted the lion's share of its resources to New Hampshire, is pleased with the results.
"Gov. Huntsman's record of leadership and the strongest jobs plan in the race is resonating with voters. We are going to continue to aggressively campaign in New Hampshire and earn every vote in the months ahead," spokesman Michael Levoff told NBC News.
What a difference a summer makes. This poll of 400 voters drew a dramatic contrast to the last Suffolk/7News survey in June. Three short months ago, Romney sat comfortably at 36% ,while Michele Bachmann clocked in at 11%, Paul garnered 8%, and Huntsman claimed 4%. On Wednesday, Bachmann polled at less than half of her June numbers.
Bachmann has not been back to New Hampshire since before the Ames Straw Poll, a move that has irked her existing supporters and miffed voters in the Granite State.
“The fact that she hasn’t been here since June 28, not even a victory lap after the Straw Poll, speaks volumes of what the campaign thinks of New Hampshire, which is unorthodox to say the least,” former GOP state chairman Fergus Cullen told NBC News.
“Once it becomes the conventional wisdom she is not interested in this state, it becomes very difficult, almost impossible, to turn that around into any appreciable support,” Cullen said. “And [her absence] has become the cemented wisdom.”