New Hampshire primary has started; Romney leading but Huntsman hopes to catch up; PunditMom Joanne Bamberger says ‘most electable’ candidate of the moment often doesn’t win the White House
Mitt Romney is leading the polls heading into today’s New Hampshire primary but Jon Huntsman is hoping to make a breakthrough in the Republican candidate field. As of Sunday, a Suffolk University poll showed Huntsman in third place behind Romney and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas. Huntsman has been stepping up his game against Romney, in particular. He’s hoping his moderate streakwill convince voters he’s in a better position to beat President Obama in November.
“We are going to wake up Wednesday morning, and we are going to see that there is a different political reality out here, and all the conventional wisdom we’ve been hearing about will be upended because that’s what we do here in New Hampshire!” Huntsman said Monday. But Rick Santorum is also hoping to catch up to Romney. The former Pennsylvania senator whose conservatism is expected to play better in the south as the primaries head in that direction, took some heat from New Hampshire college students Monday for his opposition to gay marriage. “Well what about three men?,” Santorum responded to a female student who asked him about his position on the issue. “If reason says that if you think it’s OK for two, then you have to differentiate with me as to why it’s not OK for three.”
Joanne Bamberger, a political and media strategist/analyst and blogger, also known as “PunditMom“ for her blog by the same name, says she doubts Huntsman will perform miracles in New Hampshire. “I don’t think we’ll see a Huntsman surge in Hew Hampshire in the same way we saw a Rick Santorum surge in Iowa,” said Bamberger, author of Mothers of Intention: How Women & Social Media Are Revolutionizing Politics in America, and founder of The Broad Side. “Unless the polls are totally off, it’s pretty clear that Mitt Romney is so far ahead of the pack, that he will win the New Hampshire primary. That said, Huntsman has been trending up, he got the most applause during this weekend’s two New Hampshire debates and New Hampshire voters are well-known for their independent minds. If Huntsman (or anyone else) comes close to Romney, it will be more of a signal that voters still don’t see Romney as their nominee. “When a political party tries to promote the ‘most electable’ candidate of the moment or the candidate whose ‘turn’ it should be, that person is rarely the winner of the White House. Remember Bob Dole?”
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