New Hampshire Preview: Breaking Down Where Romney Needs to Win

BY Dante Chinni  January 10, 2012 at 10:56 AM EDT

If you were devising a state where GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney could do well in a vote, it would probably look a lot like New Hampshire.

Romney was the governor of Massachusetts, which sits next door. He has a home in New Hampshire. And, from the perspective of Patchwork Nation’s geographic/demographic breakdown of counties, the Granite State offers excellent electoral terrain.

As we noted last week after the Iowa Caucuses, Romney seems to be emerging as the GOP candidate of the wealthy, largely suburban Monied Burbs. In fact, in Iowa the only county type where Romney did better in 2012 than he did in 2008 were the state’s Monied Burbs.

And the overwhelming majority of people in New Hampshire — some 61 percent — live in Monied Burb counties, in beige on the map below.

Bearing all those advantages in mind, Romney’s strong poll numbers in New Hampshire are not surprising, though recent days have shown his lead in shrinking. Even if Romney wins Tuesday night (you can follow the results live here), there are a few trends to look at in the vote using Patchwork Nation.

THE CHOICE OF THE BURBS

The Monied Burbs were good for Romney in the 2008 New Hampshire primary. He essentially tied Sen. John McCain in those places with 36 percent of the vote out of them. The four counties in the darkest green below, where Romney did best, are all Monied Burbs.