Mitt Romney is holding firm with 43 percent of likely voters, easily outdistancing his nearest rivals among likely New Hampshire Republican Primary voters, according to a Suffolk University/7NEWS two-day tracking poll of likely voters in New Hampshire’s GOP presidential primary.

The poll showed Romney maintaining his lead with 43 percent of the vote, followed by Ron Paul (16 percent), Jon Huntsman (10 percent), and Newt Gingrich (9 percent), while Rick Santorum (5 percent) has moved ahead of Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry, who had 2 percent each.

Thirteen percent of voters remain undecided, down from 15 percent yesterday.

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.

This is the second consecutive poll release showing Gingrich in fourth place after polling second to Romney in mid-December.

“Newt Gingrich is struggling to revive his campaign in New Hampshire” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center. “But Rick Santorum now trails Gingrich by only 4 points, and if he surpasses Gingrich and knocks him into fifth place, it would be fatal for Gingrich.”

Romney’s strength was measured by gender and geography: Overall 48 percent of women preferred Romney, and 59 percent of registered Republican women said they’d vote for Romney, as did 62 percent of women ages 65 and over.

“If Romney wins the Granite State in a landslide, he can thank women throughout New Hampshire for making a powerful statement,” said Paleologos.

Regionally, Romney has the support of nearly 50 percent of voters from the state’s two largest counties when combined – Rockingham and Hillsborough counties.

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 Jan. 1 and Jan. 2 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 will be posted at 7 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2012, 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 Street, Manchester through Jan. 10.