Jim Geraghty notices that the ARG poll shows a dramatic increase in support for Fred Thompson over the last few days:
Well, after yesterday's brouhaha over whether Thompson was really surging... American Research Group does show what I would all a real surge, rising from 13 percent in the poll taken January 15-16 to 21 percent in the poll taken January 17-18.
A finish like that - behind McCain with 26 percent and Huckabee with 36 percent, but beating Romney by 9, would be plenty reason to stay in the race.
So in Fred's favor, there's that.
On the other hand, I wrote yesterday about the potential value of online searches in telegraphing voter preference. If that predictor turns out to be accurate in South Carolina today, it may be Mike Huckabee who winds up the beneficiary. That's because looking at Yahoo buzz today shows the Huckster surging dramatically, while Romney and Fred fall off. Here's a clip of what it looked like at 11:15 eastern today. If it's too small to read, Huckabee has seen an increase of more than 9 percent over the last 24 hours in number of searches by South Carolina residents. In the same time period, Thompson and Romney have fallen significantly.
We'll know in a few hours whose packing it in -- if anyone.
Another thought: is this more proof of the influence of Patrick Ruffini?