FOX News Poll: New Hampshire Republican Primary Voters Say Romney Played Dirty Politics Most

Republican primary voters in New Hampshire were asked which Republican candidate practiced dirty politics the most during the campaign, with 39 percent naming Mitt Romney, according to a FOX News Election Day poll.

The poll found that no other Republican candidate was named by 10 percent or more (32 percent did not name anyone).

Of those voters who said that Romney practiced dirty politics the most, over half (56 percent) voted for John McCain.

The poll consisted of 800 telephone interviews with Republican primary voters in New Hampshire, conducted the evening of January 7 and throughout election-day on January 8.

About two-thirds of Republican primary voters (68 percent) do not think elected officials should be influenced by their religious beliefs when making policy decisions; among this group, McCain won by a slim margin over Romney, 38 percent to 35 percent. Among the 24 percent of voters who think that voters should be influenced by their religious beliefs, Romney received the most votes. Thirty-five percent of this group voted for Romney, compared with 26 percent who voted for Huckabee and 24 percent who voted for McCain.

Republican primary voters in New Hampshire are divided in their opinions of George W. Bush. 61 percent approve of the job President Bush is doing, while 39 percent disapprove. Among voters who approve of the job President Bush is doing, Mitt Romney received 40 percent of the vote, compared with 32 percent who voted for John McCain. Republican primary voters who disapprove of President Bush’s job performance support McCain over Romney by a 40 to 25 margin.

Romney voters tend to have more confidence in their candidate’s chances to beat the Democrats in November than McCain voters have in their candidate. Three-quarters (75 percent) of Romney voters are confident that Romney can beat the Democratic candidate in November. Among McCain voters, 59 percent are confident that McCain can beat the Democratic candidate.

Many McCain voters may vote Democrat in the general election in November if a candidate other than McCain wins the Republican nomination. For example, 39 percent of McCain voters would vote for Barack Obama in a potential match-up between Obama and Romney. Romney voters are more likely to support the Republican candidate in the general election regardless of who is nominated by the party.

FOX News/Opinion Dynamics Election Day Poll Methodology

The FOX News/Opinion Dynamics New Hampshire primary Election Day poll was carried out on January 7 and 8, 2008 using standard statistical methods to select a representative sample of likely voters and voters who had already cast a ballot. Interviews were conducted by telephone Monday night prior to the election and throughout the day on Tuesday.

A total of 1,600 interviews were completed with New Hampshire primary voters—800 with Democratic primary voters and 800 with Republican primary voters.


The sample was developed using random digit samples of telephone numbers selected using the “probability proportionate to size” method, which means numbers from across the state were selected in proportion to the number of voters in each area of the state. A computer selected the first eight digits of an actual working number and then appended a two-digit random number to produce a random-digit dial (RDD) sample. An RDD sample allows for contacting not only listed and unlisted numbers, but also households with new numbers. Each respondent was screened to establish him/her as a registered voter. Respondents were asked if they have already cast a ballot. If not, interviewers screened for “likely voters” through a additional questions about voting intention. Respondents were asked which primary they had voted in or planned to vote in—those who reported voting in the Republican primary received one survey and those who reported voting in the Democratic primary received a different survey.


The RDD selected phone numbers were sent to the interviewers through computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) software. Both the software and human supervisors monitored each step of the interviewing process. While calls were automatically dialed, the system did not use predictive dialing so prospective respondents always found a live interviewer when they answered their phone.


For a sample of 800 interviews, the error due to sampling is plus or minus 3.5%. For example, when the survey says “47% of voters…” then chances are very strong that no less than 43.5% and no more than 50.5% of all voters would have responded the same way. In addition to sampling error, question wording and question order can influence poll results.


Generally, FOX News poll results are not weighted. The probability sample, if conducted properly, should accurately reflect attitudes within each area. However, particularly because the survey was conducted over a short period (limiting the opportunity for callbacks), some demographic deviation is possible. For this reason minor weights were applied to bring the sample into conformity with know information about the electorate.