POLITICS
01/10/2012 08:15 am ET Updated Jan 13, 2012

Jon Huntsman New Hampshire Primary 2012 Outlook

Video produced by Hunter Stuart

Jon Huntsman experienced a surge in support ahead of Tuesday's primary contest in New Hampshire, according to the latest polls.

The former governor of Utah has invested significant resources in the Granite State after spending little time and money in Iowa. He hasn't shied away from taking shots at Mitt Romney, who is running at the front of the pack heading into the Granite State primary.

It Ends Where It Began

HuffPost's Sam Stein reports on the state of the Huntsman campaign going into election day:

It ended where it began. Months after he launched his presidential candidacy in Exeter, N.H., former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman returned to the historic New England town's quaint town hall for the final night of campaigning before Tuesday's primary.

A lot has changed since that June jaunt from New York City. A campaign once cloaked in high-expectations has seen its hopes diminished even as Huntsman has become a more refined, able politician. The candidate who announced his White House intentions through a series of quixotic motocross videos has stumped this past week as a post-partisan populist. On Monday night, he was the self-appointed leader of a "movement" to restore trust to politics.
...
With polling trending slightly in Huntsman's direction, aides now speak sincerely of hopes for a possible second-place finish. But there is no certainty to any prognostication. Huntsman could just as easily end up fifth. New Hampshire this election season has been utterly unpredictable. And from the onset, Huntsman's campaign and even Huntsman himself have seemed just a touch off-key for these times.

The Polls

HuffPost's Mark Blumenthal reports:

If ever there were a time when polls should be certain about something, it is that Mitt Romney will win New Hampshire's Republican presidential primary on Tuesday. At least 53 times over the past two years, and at least 24 times in the last two months, media pollsters have measured the preferences of likely voters in New Hampshire, and found Romney leading the Republican race every time, usually by large, double-digit margins.

The final round of tracking polls taken over the past weekend shows Romney leading Ron Paul and the rest of the candidates by margins of 15 to 24 percentage points. By the metrics of polling, Romney's victory in New Hampshire appears virtually assured.

Yet the same surveys are also full of uncertainty, particularly as reported by the voters themselves, and that margin of doubt leaves open questions about the size of Romney's likely victory and the identity of the candidates who finish second, third and fourth.

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