There’s a danger in race-watching of mistaking what’s happening for what you want to see.
So I want to warn the Fredheads, who I’ve got some deep reserves of sympathy for… some polls show your guy with some momentum, some don’t.
I’d love to report, as Peter Robinson offers, that “all the polls show Fred trending sharply upward.” But when you look at all the polls, you see that some do, some show a modest increase, and some show little change.
Survey USA has Thompson at 17; their last one January 4-6 had Thompson at 11. Rasmussen has him at 16, their last one completed on January 13 had him at 16.
Public Policy Polling has him at 17, their last one completed January 12 had him at 14. ARG has him at 13, unchanged from their last one in South Carolina at the end of November. McClatchy-MSNBC has him at 13; their last one in December had him at 14 percent.
All of these put him no higher than tied for third.
UPDATE: I don’t want to be seen as a guy who feels the need to relentlessly stomp on dreams of the Fred fans. So here’s some anecdotal evidence of a Fred surge, from one of my readers:
Talked to my Dad in Greenville this morning. He said that if local talk radio is any measure of voter sentiment, Fred is “surging.” There is great hostility on the Greenville/Spartanburg airwaves to both McCain and Huckabee. A number of talk radio callers are unhappy with Huckabee’s fried squirrel shtick, many of them complaining that it “makes us look like country bumpkins.”
Huckabee also may have committed a gaffe in a recent appearance at Clemson University. My Dad said it’s been reported that during his remarks there, Huckabee brought up the topic of the Confederate flag flying over the State House, which caused so much heartburn during the 2000 Campaign. Huckabee said something to the effect that, “if people came into our state and told us what to do with the flag, we’d tell ’em where to stick that poll.” If that’s accurate, he just succeeded in bringing up an issue most South Carolinians simply want to leave behind. My Dad added that some talk radio callers wanted to know why a Baptist minister was making such a crude suggestion.
More on Huckabee’s flag comment here.