Entries in NH Primary (5)


New Hampshire Primary: Polls Now Open

Ethan Miller/Getty Images(CONCORD, N.H.) -- The first polls are now open in New Hampshire, one week after Mitt Romney’s eight-vote win in the Iowa caucuses.

With its early vote, the Granite State has a chance to adjust expectations and momentum in the Republican presidential race, before the candidates move onto South Carolina and Florida.  And it has a decent track record -- slightly better than Iowa’s -- of predicting eventual GOP nominees.  In years without an incumbent since 1980, New Hampshire has gone three for five (60 percent) in picking the eventual Republican nominee.

Heading into primary day, Mitt Romney figures to run away with the primary vote, but the contest for second place is in full swing.  Romney (41 percent) holds a big lead in the latest major poll, conducted on Jan. 5 – 8 by WMUR/UNH, trailed by Ron Paul (17 percent), Jon Huntsman (11 percent), Rick Santorum (11 percent) and Newt Gingrich (8 percent).

Romney’s big lead is nothing new. The former governor has led by double digits in all but one major New Hampshire poll since April.  

Huntsman, meanwhile, skipped Iowa and has dedicated the early part of his campaign to New Hampshire.  If Huntsman shows well on Tuesday, New Hampshire could do for him what Iowa did for Santorum, supplying a new wave of media attention, money and raised standing.  If not, his campaign will likely struggle to gain traction going forward.

New Hampshire is drawing a lot of attention from candidates in 2012, but not as much as it did in 2008.  Like in Iowa, where spending on TV ads fell 85 percent from 2008, spending by candidates and independent groups is also way down in New Hampshire this year, according to a source who tracks ad buys in the state.

New Hampshire’s primary works quite differently from Iowa’s caucuses, where Republicans last week gathered in auditoriums and handed in paper ballots -- in some cases, blank pieces of paper -- with proceedings opened and closed by the gavels of precinct-caucus chairs.  The New Hampshire primary is administered by New Hampshire’s Secretary of State, just like a regular election.  The first polls open at 6 a.m. ET, and the last polls will close at 8 p.m. ET.

Independents can vote in Tuesday’s primary by re-registering as Republicans at polling places.  Democrats, on the other hand, can’t re-register as Republicans on primary day.  If independents turn out in force, they could prove beneficial to Paul, in particular, whose support typically falls outside mainstream Republican bounds.

New Hampshire has far more independents than Republicans: Of its 767,383 voters, 312,621 -- 41 percent -- are registered as “undeclared,” while 231,611, or 30 percent, are registered as Republicans.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Jon Huntsman in NH: ‘We Are Ready to Rock and Roll!’

Alex Wong/Getty Images(EXETER, N.H.) -- On the eve of the New Hampshire primary, Jon Huntsman took to a platform surrounded by over 300 supporters, and wearing a United States Navy leather jacket, the GOP contender rounded off 170 public events at the very site where he first kicked off his presidential efforts last June.

“Are we ready to rock and roll tomorrow?!  We are ready to rock and roll!” a hyped up and excited Huntsman called out to his supporters in Exeter.

Monday night’s rally offered spectators a different side of the once Utah governor and former ambassador.  Over the last two days, it’s as if the world remembered that he was running, with an ever-increasing media swarm and huge turnouts to his events.  The campaign calls it "Hunts-mentum".

Up until the New Year, Huntsman’s campaign stops took on a rather understated tone compared to that of other presidential hopefuls.  Mostly town halls, Huntsman usually gives a 30-45 minute speech discussing what he calls the nation’s deficits -- the economic deficit and the deficit of trust.  He then entertains comments and questions from the audience, giving very in-depth and often lengthy answers to questions on everything from foreign policy to jobs to health care.  Fireworks, if any, come from attendees wanting to know how the governor matches up against the other candidates.

Huntsman made it clear on a daily basis that he’s not into the theatrics of politics, often saying that he won’t contort himself into a pretzel or light his hair on fire.  He was convinced that it would be his message and ideas that would propel him forward.

But one had to wonder how a mild-mannered politician could break through a political race branded by big personalities.  Well, if the last two days are any indication, Huntsman’s managed to do it with tons of hand-shaking and repetition of message.

Early on, ABC News asked him if he had the personality to make his mark in New Hampshire.

“Well we did just great as governor of a state reelected with 78 percent of the vote.  People saw us for who we are, as a leader.” Huntsman said.  “Once people get to know you better and understand your style and your approach to getting things done, I think they’ll like it.  I have no doubt about that.”

On Tuesday we’ll know whether or not his message will translate into real votes.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


On Eve of Primary, Romney Draws on Family’s NH Memories

EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images(BEDFORD, N.H.) -- On the eve of the New Hampshire primary, Mitt Romney reminded voters just how much time -- years, he said -- he’s logged in the Granite State, adding a personal touch to his stump speech as voters readied to head to the polls.

“I don’t know how many months ago that my family and I went to Scammon Farm and we announced that we had decided to run for president.  I know a number of you were there,” Romney said Monday, speaking at McKelvie Intermediate School, the very location where he held his last event before the 2008 primary.

Romney announced his bid for the White House on June 2, 2011 at the farm in Stratham.

“We have been coming to New Hampshire for 40 years,” said Romney, who owns a multi-million dollar lakefront estate in Wolfeboro.  “We were thinking about that backstage, when was the first time we got to come up to Lake Winnipesaukee with our children go to swimming in the lakes here?  And when did we take them to Pat’s Peak to go skiing?”

Romney’s personal touches resonated with the crowd, who knew the spots and cheered that they too skied Pat’s Peak, a popular ski mountain near Concord.

“We taught our little boys, little guys, how to ski here, went swimming here, taught them to water ski on Lake Winnipesaukee,” Romney recalled.  “We’ve been coming here, we love the state, we love the people of New Hampshire."

“I love new Hampshire and I appreciate your willingness to welcome us here tonight,” he said.  “If I’m president of the United States I will not forget New Hampshire.  I’ll make sure New Hampshire remembers they have a place in the White House if I’m president of the United States.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Romney Asks for a More Decisive Win in New Hampshire

ABC News(DERRY, N.H.) -- In an early morning rally just outside Manchester, Mitt Romney asked New Hampshire voters to deliver him a greater margin of victory than Iowans did, receiving an enthusiastic response from a crowd of hundreds that filled a school's gymnasium.

"Fresh from that landslide in Iowa, maybe can we double that number?" Romney asked the crowd, who cheered in response. "You know instead of an 8 point margin maybe 16? I sure hope so I wanna win."

Joining Romney on stage was South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who Romney has campaigned with over the past few days in the south.

Haley urged the crowd to send Romney to the South Carolina primary with a victory.

"Get excited New Hampshire because this is what I need, we don't just need a win in New Hampshire, we need a landslide in New Hampshire," said Haley. "Let me tell you why we need the landslide, because guess where he’s going next? He's going to South Carolina."

"Mitt Romney's going to win South Carolina, by the way," she said. "But let’s make it a little bit easier for him and let’s get out and go tell ten people to get out."

Romney was joined by his wife Ann and his eldest son Tagg as well as several of his grandchildren. He spent more than 20 minutes shaking hands and signing autographs to supporters, handed more than once the latest issue of Time Magazine, which bears his photograph and the headline, "So you like me now?"

In December the magazine published an issue with Romney's image and the headline, "Why don't they like me?"

Signing the glossies, Romney quipped, "They got it right this time!"

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Jon Huntsman Versus Mitt Romney: David Versus Goliath?

LIU JIN/AFP/Getty Images(PORTSMOUTH, N.H.) -- Jon Huntsman held his third event in New Hampshire Thursday in Portsmouth, amid questions of how he will sustain his GOP presidential bid in the Granite State with the massive support thrown behind his chief rival.

Looking around the room at the business luncheon hosted by his campaign state co-chair Renee Reidel, one would be hard pressed to find those who were not committed Huntsman supporters.  But there is a nagging question that pops into many supporters’ heads and that comes up at many of Huntsman’s town halls: how can he close the gap and win the New Hampshire primary against Mitt Romney?

One of Huntsman’s supporters phrased his question creatively when he cast Romney as Goliath -- having more money, more “cronies” and more media attention than Huntsman, and Huntsman as David.  His question: “How does David bring down Goliath?”

Huntsman called it a fair analogy.

“You have to have a market moving event,” Huntsman told the supporter.  “You know, Rick Santorum in Iowa did an interesting thing.  I was actually ahead of him in one poll in Iowa.  We didn’t spend any time -- wasn’t even competing in Iowa.  We were at six I believe, in one poll and he was at five.  I think that was about a week and a half ago.  And I say he put in a lot of work on the ground proving that grassroots politicking still means something.”

Huntsman is hoping that he can do in New Hampshire what Santorum was able to do in Iowa.  He will be the first to say that no one has worked harder or put in more time in the Granite State.

“You can’t Twitter your way to prosperity.  You can’t Facebook your way to prosperity,” Huntsman said.  “You have to be in the state.  You have to be felt, you have to be seen, you have to be heard.”

Huntsman contends that the investment he is making in New Hampshire will help him come out on top come Tuesday.  He also seems aware that failure to perform could mean the end of a campaign.

“I’m guessing the retail politics we’ve done in this state will endure to our benefit in creating a market moving event,” said Huntsman.  “You don’t have a market moving event, you’re done.  Just like the marketplace for business.  So I’m guessing the work we’ve done in this state is going to create a market moving event.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio