Rick Santorum: Will Iowa 'rocket boost' propel him in New Hampshire? (VIDEO)
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.
Gallery Rick Santorum
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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.
Santorum, who was expected to arrive in New Hampshire for campaign events Wednesday, does have some factors working to his advantage.
His national campaign manager, Mike Biundo, is from New Hampshire and has been involved with campaigns here before. Santorum also has at least 23 state legislators endorsing him.
And the retail politicking that paid off for him in Iowa is often rewarded by voters here as well. Santorum can be credited for “working very hard here in the first six months of the year ... but since then he’s hardly been here at all,” says Fergus Cullen, former chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party.