As Mitt Romney continues to dominate the polls in New Hampshire, he is also back in front of the Republican presidential pack in Iowa – though just barely.
Romney, who has a summer home in New Hampshire and governed the neighboring state of Massachusetts, has maintained a steady lead in the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire throughout the campaign season. Since Friday, three separate polls – including a new NBC News-Marist poll out today – have him remaining far ahead of his Republican rivals.
But in Iowa, the first caucus state, Romney has not enjoyed quite as strong support. For a time, he fell behind Texas Governor Rick Perry, who entered the race in August. Now, Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain poses the biggest threat.
A new NBC News-Marist poll out today found Romney with support from 23 percent of likely Republican caucus goers in Iowa, followed by Cain with 20 percent. The two leaders were followed by Texas Congressman Ron Paul at 11 percent, with Texas Governor Rick Perry and Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann tied at 10 percent.
The biggest problem for Romney is that he has had only limited success appealing to more conservative, Tea Party-leaning voters, who make up a larger portion of the Iowa electorate. NBC reports that among Tea Party affiliated voters, Cain leads Romney, 31 to 15 percent.
In New Hampshire, the NBC News-Marist poll has Romney at 44 percent, followed by Paul and Cain, both at 13 percent. The rest of the candidates are at or below 6 percent.