No other Republican comes close to that mark: Obama leads Mike Huckabee by 8 points, Tim Pawlenty by 16, Haley Barbour by 19, Donald Trump by 22 and Sarah Palin by a yawning 27-point margin.

Romney’s stronger performance comes from his appeal to independent and undeclared voters, who make up a hugely influential bloc in New Hampshire’s primary and general elections.

Among voters unaffiliated with either party, Romney beats Obama, 44 percent to 36 percent. He is the only active Republican contender tested in the poll who beats Obama with those key voters.