In case you are one of those people who have a really, really hard time taking Rick Santorum seriously, and/or wondered if the PPP poll showing the one-time asterisk candidate zooming into the lead was an outlier: Rickymentum is real, according to all the available evidence.

Now both Pew and CBS/NYT have new national polls out showing Santorum leading Romney, albeit more narrowly than in PPP’s survey. Gallup’s tracking poll shows Romney hanging onto a two-point lead, but also reports that Santorum’s surge after the February 7 primaries was “the largest post-primary/caucus bounce Gallup has recorded since the primary season began.”

I’ve got a new column up at TNR which discusses Romney’s quandry in dealing with Santorum, along with the potential sources of Ricky’s undoing (basically, money and Ricky’s own background as an extremist and a huge 2006 loser). But Mitt’s got a real challenge now, if only because if it persists even for a while, this is one surge that could be accompanied by actual delegate selection events.

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Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.