Romney tops Palin by whopping 23 points in N.H. poll

The conventional wisdom has been that Romney was at a big disadvantage in the upcoming Republican primary. He's got a record as an establishment favorite and a moderate, his health care plan as governor of Massachusetts looks an awful lot like Obamacare, and he's a Mormon. In the era of the Tea Party, that's a lot for GOP primary voters to swallow.

But the latest poll out of New Hampshire shows that Mitt might have a shot:

Former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney holds a commanding lead in New Hampshire in the early stages of the race for the 2012 Republican Presidential nomination, according to a new survey commissioned by NH Journal and conducted by Magellan Strategies. The survey is the first statewide survey of Granite State Republicans and Republican-leaning independents in 2011.

Romney leads former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin by 23 points, with Romney earning 39% and Palin earning 16%. Mike Huckabee (10%), Newt Gingrich (8%), Texas Congressman Ron Paul (7%), former MN Gov. Tim Pawlenty (4%), Rick Santorum (3%) and MS Gov. Haley Barbour (1%) all trail significantly behind. Romney finished second to Sen. John McCain in the 2008 New Hampshire Republican Presidential primary.

Polls aren't exactly a hard science, but 23 points? Wow. If Mitt can pivot on health care an pulls out a convincing win in New Hampshire, he might have a shot at the nomination.

Beltway Confidentialelection 2012pollsUS

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