In New Hampshire, Santorum surges, Romney leads
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Published: 06-Jan-2012

MANCHESTER, N.H. – Rick Santorum has hit double digits in New Hampshire and is the only candidate in the field to show gains for four consecutive days, according to the latest Suffolk University/7News two-day tracking poll of likely Granite State voters in the Republican presidential primary.

Mitt Romney still holds a strong lead with 40 percent, followed by Ron Paul (17 percent). Santorum, who came within a few votes of winning the Iowa caucus, has jumped from 3 percent just before the Iowa vote to 11 percent in the latest two-day New Hampshire tracking poll.

Romney’s strength has eroded slightly in the past week, from a high-water mark of 43 percent,but still enjoys a commanding lead and an outside chance at an outright majority on Tuesday. 

Newt Gingrich (9 percent) is currently in fourth place followed by Jon Huntsman (8 percent) and Rick Perry (1 percent), while 15 percent were undecided.

“Rick Santorum is the only Republican candidate moving up in New Hampshire,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston.  “He has cleared the Gingrich and Huntsman hurdles for third place and is only 6 points away from second place.  Watch out Ron Paul.”

Santorum’s growth has occurred by securing and consolidating factions of the right-leaning electorate.  Among such voters, he has now vaulted into second place, passing Paul among registered Republicans, tea party supporters, and self-identified conservatives.

Santorum’s campaign has seen a surge in coverage from national reporters in wake of his strong showing in Iowa. There is new controversy about the final count from Iowa, but news reports indicate that might not be resolved for several more days. 

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. CapitolBeatOK will continue to present summaries of the Suffolk tracking polls through the Granite State’s primary election day.
 
For details on the sample size and demographics of the latest Sullolk poll, go here. Also accessible are “marginals” and cross-tabulation data

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