Rick Santorum has hit double digits in New Hampshire and is the only candidate in the field to show gains for four consecutive days, according to the latest Suffolk University/7News two-day tracking poll of likely Granite State voters in the Republican presidential primary.

Mitt Romney still holds a strong lead with 40 percent, followed by Ron Paul (17 percent). Santorum, who came within a few votes of winning the Iowa caucus, has jumped from 3 percent just before the Iowa vote to 11 percent in the latest two-day New Hampshire tracking poll.

Newt Gingrich (9 percent) is currently in fourth place followed by Jon Huntsman (8 percent) and Rick Perry (1 percent), while 15 percent were undecided.

“Rick Santorum is the only Republican candidate moving up in New Hampshire,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston. “He has cleared the Gingrich and Huntsman hurdles for third place and is only 6 points away from second place. Watch out Ron Paul.”

Santorum’s growth has occurred by securing and consolidating factions of the right-leaning electorate. He has now vaulted into second place, passing Paul among registered Republicans, tea party supporters, and self-identified conservatives.

The Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston will release results of two-day tracking polls every day leading up to the New Hampshire presidential primary on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012.

Methodology

The statewide survey includes two nights of 250 likely respondents for a two-day tracking total of 500 likely voters in New Hampshire’s Republican presidential primary. This track was conducted Jan. 4 and Jan. 5 using live telephone interviews with landline and cell phone users. The margin of error is +/-4.4 percent at a 95 percent level of confidence. Marginals and full cross-tabulation data will be posted Friday, Jan. 6, 2012, on the Suffolk University Political Research Center website. For more information, contact David Paleologos at 781-290-9310. Paleologos is on site at the Manchester, N.H., media center located in the lobby of the Radisson Hotel, 700 Elm Street, Manchester through Jan. 10.