01/11/2012 02:34 pm ET Updated Feb 26, 2012

Jon Huntsman Looks To South Carolina After New Hampshire Primary Results

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman vowed to continue his campaign after placing third in New Hampshire's primary election on Tuesday night.

The presidential hopeful told his supporters, "I say third place is a ticket to ride, ladies and gentleman! Hello, South Carolina!" The optimistic words come after Huntsman invested significant time and resources in the Granite State.

HuffPost's Sam Stein and Amanda Terkel report:

Huntsman, for one, closed strongly in New Hampshire, with a populist, post-partisan message that brought him from a likely 5th place finish to a runaway bronze medalist.


Huntsman held 170 public events in New Hampshire -- the equivalent of 20 events per percentage point of the vote he received --and still only came in third. Few states will, like New Hampshire, provide him with the type of independent electorate that is drawn to his candidacy.

Jon Huntsman Sr., the Republican candidate's father and a billionaire, would not commit to investing more money in his son's campaign for the White House when asked about the matter by Mother Jones on Tuesday night.

A powerful chemical titan, Jon Sr. has played a key role supporting his son's candidacy. He helped finance a super-PAC called Our Destiny that's spent $2.1 million so far backing Huntsman Jr.

Before all the votes were counted on Tuesday night, BuzzFeed reported:

BuzzFeed spoke to two Huntsman family friends in Utah, who requested anonymity to comment on what one described as "the delicate issue of intra-family contributions." But both said Huntsman Sr. expects a return on investment--even on his son's presidential campaign.

The website points out that members of Huntsman's family have made generous contributions to political efforts of rival contender Mitt Romney in past election cycles.

A recent survey from Public Policy Polling found that if Stephen Colbert were on the Republican primary ballot in South Carolina, the Comedy Central star would hold a razor-thin lead over Huntsman.

The former governor was asked about the poll during an appearance on Fox News before the results of New Hampshire's primary were announced.

"When I was on his show recently he promised me the Colbert bump," Huntsman said. He added that he hoped to get the "Colbert bump" in the Granite State and would be looking for the same thing in South Carolina.