05 January 2012

NH and SC Polls Bad News For Perry and Huntsman

According to a Suffolk University/7 News two day tracking poll, the former governor of neighboring Massachusetts has the support of 41% of likely Republican New Hampshire primary voters. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas is a distant second, at 18%.

The poll indicates that Santorum is at 8%, with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Utah Gov. and former ambassador to China Jon Huntsman at 7%. According to the survey, a rather large 17% are undecided.

From here (sample size 500, polling half before and half after Iowa over two days, MOE +/- 4.4%).

Texas Governor Rick Perry isn't going to make any showing of consequence in New Hampshire, and Jon Huntsman is far too far back to launch his Presidential bid in New Hampshire with any success, having already failed to participate in Iowa either. Newt Gingrich also doesn't appear to be on the path to recovery. Santorum may yet get a boost in New Hampshire from his solid performance in Iowa, at least sufficient to put upwardly trending Santorum ahead of downwardly trending Gingrich, which would push Gingrich to fifth or sixth place in New Hampshire. But, if Santorum can't edge out Paul in New Hampshire, his ability to become the "not Romney" candidate in this race is increasingly called into question.

I'd have to check the history books, but I don't think anyone has every won a modern Presidential nomination without at least appearing somewhere in the middle or top in either Iowa or New Hampshire. Also, no one has ever become a President without having first been a Governor, U.S. Senator or Vice President. Paul and Gingrich fail this test.

The third in the nation, South Carolina race, puts Gingrich and Romney as the number one and number two candidates by a wide margin in the most recent two polls. Perry has been far back from these two candidates, garnering just 5% support in the most recent poll there. Even a solid number two finish for Romney in South Carolina, after finishing first in Iowa and New Hampshire, would be good news for Romney, who has less of a base in the South. Gingrich's strong performance in South Carolina polls, however, appears to pre-date his catastrophic fall in popularity that hit shortly before the Iowa caucuses and put him on track to a mediocre performance there and likely another mediocre performance in New Hampshire. Romney could easy fill the South Carolina vacuum with a first place finish, and if he does he will be the presumptive Republican nominee.

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