With a matter of hours to go before the New Hampshire primary, Jon Huntsman appears to finally be seeing a surge of his own—but it may be too little, too late, observes Nate Silver in the New York Times. Recent polls are looking good for the former Utah governor: One puts him firmly in second place with 17% of the vote, while another said he was battling Ron Paul at 16%. Others showed upward momentum. FiveThirtyEight expects a 15.6% showing, giving Huntsman a third-place finish.
So what does all this mean for Huntsman's future? Well, the "best-realistic-case scenario" would see him and Ron Paul finishing close behind Mitt Romney, raising questions about Romney's "staying power," Silver writes. More likely, however, Romney will remain the clear frontrunner. The trouble for Huntsman is, in part, that his surge arrived late. Rick Santorum jumped in polls six days before Iowa's caucuses, allowing for a "self-reinforcing" boost. FiveThirtyEight truly began spotting Huntsman's rise in the last 24 hours. "Were the New Hampshire primary to take place on Friday rather than Tuesday, then Mr. Huntsman’s favorable trend might be extremely interesting, but it will probably be too little and too late," concludes Silver. (Read more Jon Huntsman stories.)