Posted Monday, Jan. 9, 2012, at 1:25 PM
NASHUA, N.H. -- The headline from the new Suffolk tracking poll is that Mitt Romney's lead in the state has fallen to 33 percent. The more fun headline: Buddy Roemer has climbed to a lead over Rick Perry. It's a lead of eight people versus six people, but still.
Will this pan out tomorrow? Roemer has spent most of the campaign season in New Hampshire, running on a budget so tight that Charlie Chaplin would find it "a little over the top" for a Tramp plot. (Roemer's schedule today literally consists of walking around Manchester.) For some reason, one I'd love to hear explained, niche candidates often do better in polls than they do on election day. (My theory is that annoyed undecideds think again about a "spoiled" vote when they get to the booth.) But not by much! In 2008, the imploding Fred Thompson only scored 2,995 votes in New Hampshire; Duncan Hunter, who'd gotten nothing near the attention paid to Thompson, got 1,192 votes. Thompson had even been allowed in the final New Hampshire debate; Hunter, and Ron Paul, had not.