The New Hampshire primary is tomorrow. While polls still show Mitt Romney with a safe lead in the state, second and third places are up for grabs. Three polls out Sunday all had different numbers. Here are the 10 things you need to know today.
- Public Policy Polling shows Romney with big lead in NH : Public Policy Polling has released its final poll before the New Hampshire primary. They see Romney “headed for a comfortable win in New Hampshire” with 35% and the rest of the field very close together. Ron Paul has with 18%, Jon Huntsman 16%, Newt Gingrich 12%, 11%. Buddy Roemer’s 3% beats Rick Perry’s 1%. The latest TPM Poll Average has Romney with 35.1%, Paul with 17.7% and Huntsman with 16.2.
- Suffolk poll shows Romney ahead, but slipping: The latest Suffolk University/7News poll which has been turning out daily polling data in New Hampshire has Romney in the lead, but with the other candidates closing the gap. Sunday was the fourth night in a row that Romney has fallen in their daily tracking poll. Santorum also slipped into fifth place. Suffolk puts the distance between Paul’s second place (20%) and Huntsman’s third (11%) much wider than the 2 percentage point difference in the PPP poll.
- Third New Hampshire poll says Romney very strong: A third New Hampshire poll out Sunday evening, the closely watched WMUR/University of New Hampshire poll, gives Romney a more commanding lead than the others with 41% of the vote. Nothing else seems inevitable heading into Tuesday’s primary. This poll is also has Santorum tied for third place, not in fifth place where some now have him.
- Quinnipiac Florida poll released 8 a.m. Monday: A Quinnipiac University poll of Florida likely Republican primary voters will be released at 8 a.m. Monday morning. Florida’s primary, on January 31, 2012, is the fourth contest this election cycle, coming after South Carolina. Ads have already begun to air in Florida. We will update the post with those results.
Update, 7:42 a.m.: Romney leads with 36% of Florida Republican likely primary voters, but 54% say they still might change their mind. Gingrich has 24% percent, Santorum 16%, Paul 10%, and bad news for Perry with 5% percent Huntsman with 2%.
- Newt’s rich backer just threw $5 million at South Carolina: A pro-Gingrich super PAC will begin running a negative ad campaign against Mitt Romney in South Carolina this week, thanks to a $5 million donation from Sheldon Adelson, a casino owner and hardline supporter of the Israeli settler movement. Adelson’s ad campaign will focus on Newt as a predatory capitalist, reports the New York Times, basically doing Democrats’ work for them. Josh Marshall looks for an explanation and concludes it’s a personal Mitt vs. Newt feud.
- DNC brings back laid-off employee Randy Johnson: Randy Johnson, who lost his job after Bain Capital bought his company in the 1990s and eventually shuttered it, will be at a DNC event in Boston at 4:45PM Monday. The DNC also flew him into Iowa on the eve of the caucuses a week ago. This is clearly a favorite attack on Mitt.
- Santorum schedules hectic day in New Hampshire: Rick Santorum needed momentum coming out of New Hampshire, but the latest PPP poll has him in 5th place. On Monday, Santorum will hit the trail hard holding 6 town halls with voters. At 10:03 a.m. he will be on Glenn Beck’s radio show and on Fox News’s Hannity in the evening.
- Perry campaigns in South Carolina with Anita: Skipping New Hampshire, where by some counts he is polling at 1%, behind Buddy Roemer, Perry decided to head straight for the Palmetto State. He will hold two events there Monday, as will his wife Anita Perry.
- Gingrich campaigns across New Hampshire: Newt Gingrich is fourth in the polls, but he is aiming for higher. Today, he’s holding 7 events across the Granite State. He will start his day on CBS This Morning — the new morning show’s debut.
- Ron Paul will skip Florida: Ron Paul will not put any resources into winning Florida, his campaign spokesman said Sunday. Instead, after South Carolina his campaign will work hard in early caucus states like Nevada and Louisiana. Since Florida moved its primary date up, breaking RNC rules and losing half its delegates, the campaign feels its too expensive for too little return. Paul’s camp is counting delegates.
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.