The Big Mo: Ron Paul Skyrockets in South Carolina While Rick Santorum Plummets


Apparently the political science concept of "Big Mo," or the concept of big momentum pushing candidates who win early caucuses and primaries ahead in subsequent primary and caucus states' polls, applies to Ron Paul as well.

As the Hill reports, the American Research Group released its most recent poll of likely Republican primary voters in South Carolina showing Ron Paul skyrocketing from 9 percent to 20 percent in today's latest poll.

Paul's previous 9 percent number comes from a poll conducted just a few days earlier, on Jan 4-5. However, after Jan 10th's New Hampshire primary and Ron Paul's strong 2nd place finish, this poll finds his support significantly raised to 20 percent. Romney placed first at 29 percent and Gingrich second at 25 percent.

Big Mo can also have the reversed effect for candidates underperforming. For instance, despite Rick Santorum's surprise near-win in Iowa, Santorum significantly underperformed in New Hampshire, coming in a distant fifth at 8 percent. Likely as a consequence, the ARG poll finds his numbers plummeting from 24 percent in the Jan 4-5 poll to merely 7 percent by Jan 11-12.

American Research Group Poll of Likely South Carolina GOP Primary Voters


Source: American Research Group poll of South Carolina likely GOP primary voters. Click here for full methodology.

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