Mitt the Acceptable
Mitt Romney is the now the only candidate that a majority of conservative and moderate/liberal Republicans nationwide see as an "acceptable" GOP nominee for president. Conservative Republicans are more likely to say Romney would be an acceptable nominee than either Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum....Fifty-nine percent of all Republicans nationwide perceive that Romney is an acceptable GOP nominee for president, the only candidate with majority support on this measure. Slightly less than half say Gingrich (46%) or Santorum (45%) would be acceptable, while a majority of Republicans say that the three remaining candidates -- Perry, Paul, and Huntsman -- would be unacceptable as their party's nominee.
Jay Cost finds a similar result in the New Hampshire exit poll:
Romney is now the running away favorite to win the GOP nomination, and not just because of momentum. The following was the most startling set of numbers from the exit poll in New Hampshire:
We have heard a lot over the last couple months about the anti-Romney sentiment in the Republican party. However, this statistic suggests that, in New Hampshire at any rate, Romney is the only candidate with whom a majority of the party is satisfied. The rest of the candidates seem to have alienated more than half of the GOP.
That is Romney’s biggest advantage, far and away.