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Sununu makes New Hampshire prediction for Mitt Romney

TAMPA -- Former New Hampshire governor John H. Sununu flatly predicted Wednesday that Mitt Romney will defeat President Obama in the Granite State by “two to three” percentage points in November.

Sununu, one of Romney’s busiest and bluntest surrogates, said recent polling samples overrepresent Democrats by about 5 percentage points, resulting in an Obama lead over Romney of 3 points in a survey conducted for television station WMUR earlier this month.

Sununu said that by registration Republicans now outnumber Democrats in New Hampshire , and he expects, in no uncertain terms, that the results Nov. 6 will reflect that. He made the remarks to a Globe reporter before he, fellow Granite Stater Senator Kelly Ayotte, and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who delivered the convention keynote address Tuesday night, spoke to a breakfast attended jointly by the Pennsylvania and New Hampshire delegations at the Double Tree hotel not far from the Tampa airport. Ayotte, attending her first national convention, also addressed the convention Tuesday night.

GOP registration in the state was helped by the party’s heavily contested Jan. 10 presidential primary in the state where Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, has a summer home.

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Andrew Smith, director of the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, said the survey did not oversample Democrats but reflected the results of a random-digit dialing survey of voters who said they were likely to vote in November. Smith polls for both WMUR and The Boston Globe.

“My sense is that it’s going to be really close, maybe within a percentage point,” Smith said.

In his poll, conducted Aug. 1-12, Obama led Romney 49 percent to 46 percent, and 30 percent of respondents identified themselves as Democrats, 27 percent said they were Republicans, and the rest identified as independents. By registration, Republicans held about a 4-point edge back in January.

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“We’re not oversampling anybody,” Smith said. “What we have is a likely voter screen — who says they will vote in this election.

“Even as a pollster, I don’t put too much stock in polls taken in August,” Smith said.


Brian C. Mooney can be reached at bmooney@globe.com.