UPDATED: Now includes WMUR/UNH New Hampshire Poll
Nearly 3 days after Iowa, Rick Santorum has seen sharp surges in support in national and South Carolina polls. He has also moved up in New Hampshire, but not nearly as much. With just 4 days to go, this raises doubt that Santorum can move up rapidly enough to challenge Ron Paul for second place.
With three new national polls and two new ones in South Carolina, Santorum’s trends are sharply up, to 21% in South Carolina and almost 15% nationally. In New Hampshire, where we have six post-Iowa polls, Santorum has gained support but is still in single digits at 7.6%. (If we consult the more sensitive estimate, he is at 8.2%). The latest Suffolk tracking poll, covering 1/4-5 puts Santorum at 11%, with Rasmussen 1/5 puts him at 13%, both still below the other trends or individual polls. The late Friday release of the WMUR/UNH poll puts him at 8%. The WMUR/UNH poll’s field dates were 1/2-5 so that includes two pre-Iowa days,
Santorum may yet pick up support in NH because both Huntsman and Gingrich continue to trend down, offering some potential converts. Ron Paul is holding steady at about 18 while Romney has gained maybe 3 points over the last fortnight.
Santorum may yet gain support, but the contrast between his New Hampshire and national or South Carolina trends seems to say he is not as good a fit with Granite State voters. In any case, time is short.
(Technical note: I’m counting the Suffolk tracking poll in NH and the Gallup national tracker as separate polls. The overlap of days included in each track means they are not independent readings of opinion, so they aren’t entirely “separate” polls. Still, we work with the data we have. Suffolk is only a two day track, so is pretty sensitive to quick changes. Gallup has a longer field period so probably underestimates national support for Santorum at this point.)