Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman Jr. are both polling significantly higher in New Hampshire than nationally or in other early voting states like Iowa, South Carolina and Florida.
At the New York Times' FiveThirtyEight blog, elections guru Nate Silver unveiled a metric Tuesday called State Strength Scores. Silver assigns a percentage to eight GOP presidential hopefuls for each of the quartet of early voting states mentioned above; the score represents how well a given candidate is doing in a particular state, relative to national polling numbers. (For example, Silver would expect a candidate with a State Strength Score of +20 percent in Iowa to poll 20 percent higher in Iowa than in national polling.)
In the Granite State, Huntsman scored +110 percent and Romney measured +50 percent — marks that rank first and third, respectively, out of the 32 State Strength Scores produced by Silver.
"Right now, with Mr. Huntsman polling at only 2 percent nationally, that (110-percent) bonus is only worth another 2 or 3 percentage points on top of it, meaning that he's still just polling in roughly the 5 percent range in New Hampshire. If, however, Mr. Huntsman were to rise to 10 percent in the national polls, a 110 percent bonus would be worth 11 additional points in New Hampshire — meaning he'd poll at about 21 percent there and could be quite dangerous."
An Associated Press article published late Tuesday shows Huntsman in the midst of a three-day sweep through New Hampshire — the state in which he is allocating the vast majority of his campaign resources.
" 'We are working this state like no one else,' the former Utah governor told several dozen New Hampshire voters gathered in the Portsmouth Elks Lodge Tuesday night. 'I don't care what the rest of the country thinks or feels; that's not important.' ... Huntsman said the Tuesday night town hall is his 100th campaign event in New Hampshire since he joined the race. He joked that he's developed a local accent and lived on a steady diet of lobster rolls."
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