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Jan112012

Obama Campaign Dives into Romney’s NH Exit Poll Results

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama won New Hampshire in the general election -- though not the Democratic primary -- in 2008, turning it from Red to Blue in 2008, 54 percent to 45 percent.  A key to that victory was the substantial independent vote in the state.

On Tuesday night, the Obama team was watching those independents carefully, as well as other key demographic groups.  They focused on how former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney performed in the New Hampshire primary, since he’s the candidate they’ve long been convinced will win the GOP nomination.

Based on current exit polls, members of Team Obama said that:

-- Mitt Romney lost to Ron Paul by four points among self-identifying independents -- Paul: 31 percent, Romney: 27 percent;

-- Romney finished a distant fourth among voters who thought “Strong Moral Character” is the most important candidate quality, losing to Paul by 21 points;

-- And Romney won the wealthy, but lost the middle class.  His biggest margin was among those making over $200,000 followed by those making $100,000-$200,000.  Among those making under $50,000, he lost by four points.

“So he loses independents and low income voters,” said a top Obama campaign official.  “His right-turn isn’t going to help these things.”

Another top Democrat said he’s looking at Romney’s performance in lower- and middle-income wards and areas of the Granite state.

“Like Iowa, he did not do well here,” the Democrat said. “ Wait to see what happens in South Carolina with those groups after a couple million dollars and relentless ‘corporate raider’ pounding.”

The Democrat also said that before Iowa Romney had about a 30-point lead.  “He will have lost almost two-thirds of that in one week,” the Democrat noted.

One polling guru, who didn't want his name disclosed, takes the larger point that Romney needs to be stronger with independents, as well as lower- and middle-income groups, but splashes cold water on some of the numbers members of Team Obama have thrown around.

“Given the margin of sampling error in the exit poll, Paul’s four-point margin over Romney among independents is not statistically significant.  We’re saying they ran about evenly in this group.  Ditto for those who make less than $50,000 a year,” the expert said.

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