Romney Holds Big Lead Over Obama in N.H. Poll

Fresh off a nine-day swing through Southeast Asia, President Obama heads to New Hampshire early next week, switching back into campaign mode in a key campaign state where his standing among voters has slid.   

A new Bloomberg poll shows Obama trailing former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney by 10 points – 40 percent to 50 percent, respectively - in a hypothetical general election match-up. 

In 2008, Obama carried the Granite State with 54 percent of the vote compared with 45 percent for  Sen. John McCain.

The erosion of support for Obama was led by independents, who the poll found favored Romney by a 15-point margin.

The survey of 500 Granite State residents, including 324 likely voters, was conducted by Selzer & Co. for Bloomberg News between Nov. 10-11. It has a margin of error of 5.5 percentage points for general election figures.

The poll signals an uphill climb for Obama in a battleground state that has backed the winner in four of the past five presidential elections.

But Obama’s campaign strategists aren’t ready to write off New Hampshire just yet. 

They’ve opened two field offices — in Portsmouth and Concord — and plan an aggressive organizing effort around women voters and younger voters, constituencies with whom Obama retains an edge, according to the Bloomberg poll.

Vice President Joe Biden has also kept a high profile in the state, visiting twice in the past three weeks. Obama’s visit to Manchester  Tuesday – billed by the White House as an “official” event at taxpayer expense – will be his first trip there since February 2010.

The Bloomberg poll found Obama’s effort to raise taxes on wealthier Americans to help pay for his jobs plan drew a plurality of support among New Hampshire voters. Look for Obama to underscore his message on the stump next week.