We’re closing in on the New Hampshire primary. This weekend, the contenders will face off in two debates in New Hampshire, an WMUR/ABC News Debate Saturday at 9pm ET and the NBC News Facebook debate at 9am ET Sunday. TPM will have live coverage of both those debates. In the meantime, here are the ten things you need to know this morning.
- Huntsman nabs Boston Globe endorsement: Jon Huntsman earned the endorsement of the Boston Globe, a paper widely read in New Hampshire. “[W]hile Romney proceeds cautiously, strategically, trying to appease enough constituencies to get himself the nomination, Huntsman has been bold. Rather than merely sketch policies he articulates goals and ideals,” the editors wrote.
- Santorum raises $2 million after Iowa caucuses: In the last 48 hours, Rick Santorum’s campaign has brought in $2 million dollars. That’s the same amount the campaign raised in the first three quarters of 2011 combined, Santorum said on Fox News.
- Santorum makes big ad buy in South Carolina: Friday, Rick Santorum’s campaign will make a significant ad buy in South Carolina, meaining viewers will see his ad about ten times per week, reports CNN. The ad will start appearing next Tuesday. Pro-Santorum super PAC Red White and Blue Fund will make an ad buy for the former senator there too.
- Romney campaigns in South Carolina, everyone else in New Hampshire: Mitt Romney is starting his day with a rally in South Carolina, before ending with a spaghetti dinner in New Hampshire. Gingrich, Santorum, and Ron Paul will all be in New Hampshire today. Rick Perry announced Wednesday that his campaign would continue in South Carolina, but we haven’t seen a schedule of events since.
- McCain calls old political backers for Romney in South Carolina: John McCain is doing more than just endorse his former political rival. He is actively campaigning for Romney and even encouraging his own former backers to endorse Romney. CNN reports that while on the trail in South Carolina, McCain is reaching out to former backers in the state on Romney’s behalf. And while he’s at it, he’s throwing punches at Rick Santorum on the number of earmarks he pushed for in Congress.
- Pro-Huntsman PAC makes big ad buys: Our Destiny PAC is doubling down, literally, on an ad buy in New Hampshire, adding $300,000 to an initial buy of the same amount. They are also making an ad buy in South Carolina, his first paid media buy outside New Hampshire for the former governor, reports Politico. Huntsman has said he needs to finish in the top three in New Hampshire to remain in the race.
- National poll puts Santorum in second place: A new Rassmussen poll has Rick Santorum surging into the second place spot behind Mitt Romney with 21% to Mitt’s 29%. The poll, conducted the day after the Iowa primary, is based on phone calls with 1,000 likely Republican primary voters. Newt Gingrich is in third place with 16%.
- Gingrich releases new ad in NH and SC: Newt Gingrich’s attacks on Romney draw on fears that the candidate is a moderate masquerading as a conservative. Newt calls him a ‘Massachusetts moderate’ and himself a ‘Reagan conservative.’ That’s what his new ad, “Timid vs Bold” up soon in New Hampshire and South Carolina says.
- Iowa vote totals questioned: An unknown counter from the Iowa caucuses comes forward to claim a 20-vote miscount which put Romney over the top, but offers no clear evidence. Late last night, the Iowa state GOP pushed back that the totals had not changed, but didn’t deny they couldn’t change in the future. No matter what happens, as Rick Santorum put it on Fox News last night, it was basically “a tie.”
- New polls to watch for over the weekend: Looking ahead, Public Policy Polling will drop two new surveys this weekend. The first likely out Saturday on South Carolina and the second, out Sunday, on New Hampshire, just two days before the primary there.
Pema Levy is a News Writer at TPM covering the 2012 election. Before coming to TPM, Pema was an assistant editor at The American Prospect where she wrote about politics and the economy.