Mitt Romney is someone with "presidential" stature who can beat President Barack Obama in the general election, according to a poll of Republican influentials in New Hampshire and two other early-voting states.
Fifty-nine percent of the 159 people responding to the Patch-Huffington Post Power Outsiders poll of Republican voters in New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina used positive terms when asked to describe Romney in one word. Most frequently used were "presidential," "experienced," "polished," "competent" and "smooth."
More than a quarter of the words used to describe Romney (28 percent) were negative. The most frequently used were "RINO," an acronym for "Republican in name only," "flip-flopper," "plastic" and "slick."
Four out of five respondents described Romney as someone who "takes stands on issues you agree with, while 86 percent said he "would make a good president," and 89 percent think he can beat Obama. That's a higher rating on all three issues than Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the focus of .
"Right now I would say Mitt Romney represents the best chance Republicans have to beat Obama," one New Hampshire Republican said.
"Romney would be a very good president," said another. "He represents my thoughts on most issues."
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.
We’re still looking to expand our list of influential members of both parties in New Hampshire. If you’d like to participate, email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll connect you with the appropriate Patch reporter.