Romney Team Seeks To Calm Supporters About New Hampshire Drop

To tamp down any internal anxiety over the new CNN/WMUR poll showing Romney losing ground to rivals, Mitt Romney's campaign dived into the cross-tabs and distributed a memo to senior staff and some outside allies.

Here's a portion of that memo:

We are converting a higher proportion of our favorables into support than Giuliani. Gov. Romney’s ballot score is 35% of his favorable rating, while Giuliani’s ballot score is 31% of his favorable rating. Since April, Giuliani’s support as a percent of favorables has dropped from 41% to 31%, while Gov. Romney’s has grown from 29% to 35%.

Gov. Romney’s support is firmer than Giuliani’s. 68% of Giuliani voters say they are “still trying deciding” who to vote for, compared to 59% of Romney voters. Romney supporters are also more likely to be satisfied with the GOP field – 31% say they are “very satisfied” with the Republican candidates, compared to 23% of Giuliani voters.

Gov. Romney leads by 12 points among conservative voters. Gov. Romney leads Giuliani 28%-16% among self-described conservatives, who make up approximately 55% of the NH Republican primary electorate. No candidate has ever won the NH primary without winning conservatives—even in 2000, McCain edged Bush 37%-35% among conservatives.

Our support is based on our message—that Change Begins With Us. Giuliani’s support is based on electability75% of Romney voters say Romney is the candidate who will best “bring needed change to US,” compared to 57% of Giuliani voters who say Giuliani will be best to bring change. The attribute that unites the most Giuliani supporters is “most likely to win in November 2008” – 66% of Giuliani supporters say Giuliani best fits that description, the highest of any the attributes UNH tested.

"In New Hampshire, in overall polling Governor Romney has gone from 10 points down in January to ahead by four in September. Not a bad place to be," a Romney adviser said last night.

Romney has spent nearly $4.5M in New Hampshire so far. The recent polling "confirms what we always expected would emerge in New Hampshire: a close race," the adviser said.