Mitt Romney is not only widening his margin in New Hampshire, his supporters are now the least likely to change their minds between now and next Tuesday, according to a Suffolk University/7NEWS two-day tracking poll of likely voters in New Hampshire’s GOP presidential primary.

The poll shows Romney leading with 43 percent of the vote – up 2 points from a day earlier, followed by Ron Paul (17 percent), Jon Huntsman (9 percent), and Newt Gingrich (8 percent), while another 7 percent was split among GOP hopefuls Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum and Rick Perry. Fifteen percent remain undecided.

The Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston will release results of two-day tracking polls every day leading up to the New Hampshire Presidential Primary on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012.

Although Gingrich is statistically within the margin of error for third place, he has dropped behind Huntsman, who has stayed steady at 9 percent.

“Newt Gingrich cannot afford to finish fourth or worse in both Iowa and New Hampshire if he wants to remain a viable candidate,” said David Paleologos, director of Suffolk University’s Political Research Center. “This poll shows that New Hampshire voters are losing confidence in Gingrich, similar to recent Iowa trends, which may result in an early state one-two punch that knocks Newt out of the presidential race.”

Romney voters appear unlikely to change their minds about their choice as primary day approaches. Seventy-three percent of Romney voters now say they are unlikely to change their minds about their choice, compared to 64 percent of Huntsman voters and 60 percent of Paul voters.

“This increase in voter intensity signals that voters are becoming energized by a Romney candidacy, which is something that the campaign has lacked over the past year,” said Paleologos. “Romney is closing the deal.”

Romney continues to lead big among older voters, especially among women age 65+, where Romney led Paul 62 percent to 8 percent.

As Gingrich and Huntsman battle for third place, both candidates will focus on the demographics that have the highest undecided levels, such as women ages 45-64 years, a category where the Suffolk University/7NEWS poll shows that 19 percent are still undecided.

Suffolk University will be releasing two-day tracking poll numbers every day through Jan. 10, with the data reflecting the previous two nights’ field.

Methodology

The statewide survey includes two nights of 250 likely respondents for a two-day tracking total of 500 likely voters in New Hampshire’s Republican Presidential Primary. This track was conducted Dec. 31, 2011-Jan. 1, 2012, using live telephone interviews with landline and cell phone users. The margin of error is +/-4.4 percent at a 95 percent level of confidence. Marginals and full cross-tabulation data are available on the Suffolk University Political Research Center website. For more information, contact David Paleologos at 781-290-9310. Paleologos is on site at the Manchester, N.H., media center located in the lobby of the Radisson Hotel, 700 Elm St., Manchester, through Jan. 10.