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Mitt Romney surges in N.H., but No. 2 Ron Paul gets no media love

Mitt Romney jumped to a big lead in the latest New Hampshire poll. Ron Paul came in second, and Jon Huntsman's numbers rose for the first time.

By DCDecoder / September 22, 2011

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (L) and his wife Ann at a Tea Party Express rally in Concord, New Hampshire.

Brian Snyder/Reuters

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New polling data shows Mitt Romney cruising in New Hampshire, with nearly quadruple the support of Jon Huntsman, the GOP candidate in third place. Wait, why’d you skip to the third place guy? Who’s in second?

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Texas Congressman Ron Paul, of course.

Even though Huntsman and Paul both gained the same amount (six percentage points) since the last Suffolk University poll in June, and Paul has 14 percent support to Huntsman’s 10 percent, Decoder isn’t seeing any media love being thrown Paul’s way this morning.

This, despite the fact that the canned, ready-to-be-quoted bit from the Suffolk press release gives equal billing to Paul’s improvement alongside Huntsman’s.

“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. “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.

Decoder would also point out: Among second-choice candidates - meaning if your first-choice candidate were to drop out, who would you then support? - Romney edges Perry at 21 percent to 20 percent, followed by… you guessed it, Ron Paul at 9 percent.

One reason Huntsman’s bump in New Hampshire may be attracting more attention: because it’s pretty much the first real movement for him in any poll anywhere (see RealClearPolitics’ great polling data to see his historical polls, which have all been sub-six percent). And it comes amid a plethora of signs that Huntsman’s campaign has been floundering. (Decoder recently wondered if it was time for Huntsman to give it up.)

Huntsman has now moved staff out of his other early primary state (Florida) and brought them to the Granite State. As such, we may have to wait for the next poll to see whether this one is an aberration or if Huntsman’s New-Hampshire-or-bust strategy is actually paying off.

Still, as Decoder wrote yesterday, the “Ron Paul can’t get no respect” theme isn’t all campaign spin.

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