For Rick Santorum, a near-tie with Mitt Romney in Iowa shows strength among evangelical conservatives. But New Hampshire is different, and Santorum has just six days to make his mark.
His near-tie with Mitt Romney in Iowa can certainly help the former Pennsylvania senator outperform his polling in the Granite State – just 5 percent support in a Suffolk University poll conducted among likely GOP voters on Jan. 1 and 2.
But with little money and a small organization on the ground here, a week is not much time to capitalize on the surge of attention he’ll receive. And the demographics here aren’t as natural a fit for Mr. Santorum’s socially conservative message as they were in Iowa.
The support Santorum has galvanized here is largely based on his antiabortion stance, but there are fewer voters here for whom that’s a top priority, political science experts say.
“The independents here are going to make a big difference, and I don’t believe Santorum plays as well [with them] as he does with the corn-fed evangelical Christians in Iowa,” says Patrick Griffin, an unaligned Republican strategist and senior fellow at St. Anselm College’s New Hampshire Institute of Politics.