Surprise! Most Conservatives Like Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney Laughing

[credit provider=”AP”]

Mitt Romney may be taking a beating from his rivals in New Hampshire, but polls show him only gaining national support.

New polling released from Gallup today shows that a majority of conservatives, 59%, consider Romney an “acceptable” nominee for president. That number is consistent with the percentage of all Republican voters who find Romney “acceptable.”

Romney was the only candidate to have majority support from all GOP voters in the poll, and he earned 8% more support from conservatives than Newt Gingrich.

The not-Romneys have been tearing into the front runner this week, as it appears increasingly likely that the he will earn an easy victory in New Hampshire. A New York Times projection gives Romney a 99% chance of victory in New Hampshire. Despite a recent surge in polls and media attention, Jon Huntsman’s chances of victory, according to the projections, are 0%.

Newt Gingrich, for one, is already looking past New Hampshire, and he’s targeting socially conservative voters directly. In a new South Carolina ad, he attacks Romney’s record on abortion rights, an issue that still worries many conservatives, and uses the phrase “Massachusetts Moderate” to describe Romney.

Romney’s biggest challenge so far this election has been luring conservative voters. In Iowa, just one per cent of the quarter of voters who identified a candidate’s “true conservative” credentials as the most important quality chose Romney.

But the new Gallup numbers show Romney is on track to pick up the conservative support he  needs.