As we get ready for tonight’s New Hampshire debate, let’s look at where the New Hampshire race seems to be as of this moment.
Writing in the Times, Jeff Zeleny notes that it’s not always a good thing to go into New Hampshire as the front-runner since the voters in the state have a habit of upsetting those expectations. That’s a very good point in general. But we now have a decent amount of data from New Hampshire over the last week. And what’s striking is that not only is Mitt holding his lead, his nominal competitors appear to be falling as we go toward election day.
Here’s the current trend chart for New Hampshire …
Mitt is basically holding his own. But Paul, Santorum and Huntsman each seem to be trending down. Gingrich is basically treading water just under 10%. Santorum in particular had the predicted bounce coming out of Iowa. But he already seems to be heading back down — not unexpected since his unapologetic God and gays campaigning has gotten a very uneven reception in the state.
(Drag your mouse over the chart to zoom in on a particular date range.)
What all of this amounts to is that these two rapid fire debates — tonight and tomorrow morning — are likely to be more about South Carolina than New Hampshire.
Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.