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NH and SC Polls: Romney Pulls Ahead, Santorum Surges, Perry Blips


 

The latest Rasmussen polls of the next two primary states are out.  New Hampshire remains firmly in Mitt Romney’s corner, with Ron Paul holding steady 24 points behind, while Rick Santorum’s surge has carried him into third place:

New Hampshire Rasumussen Poll 01/05/12

Mitt Romney 42%

Ron Paul 18%

Rick Santorum 13%

Jon Huntsman 12%

Newt Gingrich 8%

Rick Perry 1%

Only 6% of New Hampshire voters are undecided.  Santorum’s momentum is bad news for Huntsman, who has said he would end his campaign if he doesn’t finish in the top three in New Hampshire, after investing most of his time and energy there.  As with Iowa, Gingrich suffered a dizzying collapse, falling from 22% only a few weeks ago to 8% today.

Meanwhile, in South Carolina, Santorum’s leap to the top tier is astonishing.  He was practically an asterisk a couple of months ago, but now he’s in second place… and Mitt Romney has the lead, where once Newt Gingrich held sway by a considerable margin.

South Carolina Rasmussen Poll 01/05/12

Mitt Romney 27%

Rick Santorum 24%

Newt Gingrich 18%

Ron Paul 11%

Rick Perry 5%

Jon Huntsman 2%

That’s very grim news for Perry, who appeared on the verge of suspending his campaign after a disappointing fifth-place finish in Iowa, but decided to make a stand in South Carolina.

There will be two debates held back-to-back before the New Hampshire primary: one at 9:00 PM EST on Saturday night, televised by ABC News, followed by a debate at 9:00 AM EST Sunday morning, hosted by NBC News and Facebook.