Support for Mitt Romney is growing among Republican influentials in four key early-voting states, while support for Newt Gingrich is slipping.
The latest Patch-Huffington Post Power Outsiders poll of GOP influentials in New Hampshire, Iowa, South Carolina and Florida shows that Romney holds a 12-point lead over Gingrich (35 to 23 percent). Last week's respondents were split more evenly between the two (27 percent for Gingrich, 26 percent for Romney). All of the other candidates are registering only single digit support.
Still, more than a third of the 177 people surveyed say they remain uncertain about their choice for president.
Last week, 63 percent had either publicly endorsed a candidate or said they would definitely support their current private choice. This week, 61 percent said they will definitely support their first choice.
Asked to tell us how their opinions of the candidates have changed in the past week or two, 28 percent said their view of Gingrich has grown less favorable, compared to 22 percent who have said their view has grown more favorable. Many of those who said they had grown less favorable to Gingrich mentioned either Freddie Mac or more general concerns about ethics or lobbying.
With Romney, 26 percent said their view of him had grown more favorable, compared to 17 percent less favorable.
Each week, our local Patch editors will be asking influential New Hampshire Republicans questions about the presidential campaign, and we'll report the results here.