Back when the Jon Huntsman campaign was in its infancy, their basic "path to the nomination" strategy went a little something like this: he would eschew Iowa, get his ticket punched with a strong finish in New Hampshire, catapult himself through another strong finish in South Carolina (whose GOP voters, in a Frank Luntz focus group back in May, unanimously declared Huntsman's former boss, President Obama, to be a "socialist") and then win in Florida -- where he had established his campaign headquarters -- thus setting himself up as a Super Tuesday contender.
It didn't work out according to plan. Back in early September, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley said she didn't have any idea which candidate she was going to support, but she was happy to let everyone know that the one candidate she would not support in any event was Huntsman. A few weeks later, Huntsman ended up in a two-way tie for last place in the Florida Straw Poll, despite having made a personal appeal to the participants that he was the only "electable" candidate. Mere days later, the Huntsman campaign decided to abandon the Sunshine State entirely, and move their headquarters to New Hampshire, where they would make their last stand against Mitt Romney -- who's basically running away with the state.
So, how is Huntsman doing? Not well, according to Chris Moody at Yahoo News' The Ticket. Huntsman is "polling at less than 5 percent." But the fundraising numbers are even more dire:
New Hampshire residents aren't even donating to his campaign. In the last quarter, Huntsman's campaign reported just two donors in the entire state who gave a combined $1,000.
Gary Johnson, the little-known libertarian former governor of New Mexico, raised 10 times that amount in the state.
When I asked what gives--he has held more than 80 events throughout the state--Huntsman gave a surprising answer. He said he was shocked at the $1,000 in donations ... because it was so high.
"I was surprised by it because we haven't had a single fund-raiser in New Hampshire," he said. "We haven't had a financial focus on New Hampshire. It hasn't been a center for fundraising for us. It's been a primary process that we take extremely seriously. One that we have developed a strategy around. Fundraising happens elsewhere. So if we were to do a fundraiser in New Hampshire we'd pull in more, no doubt about that."
I mean, sure, holding a fundraiser in New Hampshire during a presidential election sounds like something a crazy person would do!