Nate Silver runs the numbers and thinks that the Manchester Union-Leader endorsement is probably worth about an 11 point bump in the polls. Here’s a polltracker from TPM:
As you can see, Romney (in black) has been consistently outpolling all the others, and fairly resistant to the candidate du jour. The question is whether his current shallow dive is going to deepen as Newt (in red) rises. My guess is that if it does, that tells us something about what the elusive “sane” Republicans think of Mitt vs Newt. The Republicans in New Hampshire know Romney about as well as anyone, since a lot of that state gets Massachusetts media. Now that Newt is raising front-runner money, he’s putting staff into New Hampshire, and if he can take a moment from his book tour to do some actual campaigning, the “sane” crew that’s been sticking with Mitt will have the opportunity to take another taste of essence of Newt. Of course, for the same reason that I was rooting for Cain, I’ve changed my fickle allegiance to the former Speaker, since he would be much easier to beat than Romney. I expect this ridiculous man-child to implode in the next few days, but if he doesn’t, New Hampshire might live up to their reputation as a bellwether.