Huntsman passes Ron Paul, climbs to 3rd in N.H.

Jon Huntsman, back when he was spending more time in SC.

What does “bumped” mean to you? When I saw this Tweet this morning:

Huntsman bumped to third place with 13 percent in New Hampshire poll

… I thought they were saying he had been higher than 3rd, and had been “bumped” down — like getting bumped from a flight or something. Which would have been news to me that he had been doing that well.

But what they meant was that he was “bumped up,” and is now behind only Romney and Gingrich. Which, actually, was also news to me:

A new poll found Jon Huntsman with 13 percent support from likely Republican and independent voters surveyed in New Hampshire.

The 7News/Suffolk University poll released late Wednesday found Huntsman in third place among likely Republican and New Hampshire voters, trailing Mitt Romney (with 38 percent) and Newt Gingrich (with 20). The survey’s findings are the best yet for Huntsman in the Granite State. Previously, his best poll in New Hampshire showed him in fourth place at 11 percent, behind Romney, Gingrich and Ron Paul….

The modest gains in the 7News/Suffolk University poll reflect Huntsman’s near-exclusive focus on performing well in the early primary state. Huntsman had previously polled at 9 percent when 7News/Suffolk University surveyed the GOP primary field with the same questions last month.

Huntsman is staking his presidential campaign’s future on New Hampshire. He hopes that if he can perform well there, he can use the momentum to help him win successive victories in later states….

So now you know what Huntsman’s been up to. I was wondering, since I hadn’t seen him around here lately.

It seems to be paying off for him. Although it seems late for him to make such a move.

Wouldn’t it be something if, at the last minute, Republican voters said, “Hey, why don’t we nominate somebody who has a chance to win?” That would be one for the books, given the way they’ve been acting lately.

It’s particularly interesting given how well Ron Paul is doing in Iowa. Paul, of course, represents a trend whereby Republicans are running even farther away from electability. Huntsman represents the opposite.

24 thoughts on “Huntsman passes Ron Paul, climbs to 3rd in N.H.

  1. Doug Ross

    It all comes down to Huntsman ignoring Iowa and spending time in NH. When he finishes last in Iowa, his numbers in NH will drop. People don’t want to back a loser.

    When Paul wins or finishes second in Iowa, he will rise in NH.

    And Paul has a money bomb hitting tomorrow that should give his campaign somewhere between 5 and 10 million dollars. Money coming from donations averaging about $75.

    He will be in it until the end.

  2. bud

    One poll showing a 2 point increase is virtually meaningless. Given the small sample size, imperfect nature of polling and the general volatile nature of campaigns, especially this year, I wouldn’t give this much consideration. Still, it’s interesting that in at least two polls Huntsman is polling in double digits in NH.

  3. Doug Ross

    Giuliani shot himself in the foot in 2008 by skipping all the primaries before Florida.

    I lived in NH for 5 years back in the early 90’s and my mother still lives there. There is no way Hunstman will finish above 4th if he doesn’t finish in the top 5 in Iowa.

    Here’s my take – Paul finishes first or a close second in Iowa. The Republican Party inner circle’s heads explode. Romney wins NH with Paul in 3rd. Gingrich collapses under the weight of his own sliminess in the next two months. South Carolina becomes irrelevant (as it should be) and the remaining candidates (Romney, Gingrich, Paul, maybe Bachmann, maybe Perry) throw everything into Florida. Romney wins Florida and then it becomes a battle between Romney and Paul as Gingrich runs out of money. Romney wins, Paul goes third party route (this is his last chance).

  4. Doug Ross

    FYI, Andrew Sullivan endorsed Ron Paul with a very fair and clear analysis. Paul’s strengths are clear – consistency, values, freedom, and getting the government out of people’s lives and out of other countries business.

    A key paragraph from Sullivan:

    “But Paul’s libertarianism may be the next best thing available in the GOP. It would ensure real pressure to make real cuts in entitlements and defense; it would extricate America from the religious wars of the Middle East, where we do not belong. It would challenge the statist, liberal and progressive delusion that for every problem there is a solution, let alone a solution devised by government. As part of offering the world a decent, tolerant conservatism, these instincts are welcome. As an antidote – and a very strong one – to the fiscal recklessness and lawless belligerence of Bush-Cheney, it is hard to beat. The Tea Party, for all their flaws, are right about spending and the crony capitalism it foments. So is Paul.”

  5. Phillip

    Brad, I wouldn’t rely on Fox News for balanced political analysis of Ron Paul’s chances (your link to Sean Hatenity and Bill Bennett’s conversation). They (and other neocons) are you-know-whatting themselves over the idea that conservatism may win out over neo-conservatism in the battle for the GOP’s soul. And Paul is probably the only non-neo-conservative in the race (although Huntsman seems fairly rational in that regard).

    Fox, Ailes, Chris Wallace, the whole gang, have a vested in seeing Ron Paul fail. But I agree with Doug, if he wins Iowa, his NH numbers go up, and who knows?

    Now a Paul-Obama series of debates would be TRULY fascinating. I, for one, would be riveted to see a GOP candidate come at Obama from the right on classic economic conservatism, and from a kind-of “left” (but in reality, ALSO a true conservative viewpoint) on foreign adventurism and especially civil liberties, where I definitely more of a Paullist than an Obamaite.

  6. Brad

    I was about to say something like what Doug said — that this is highly susceptible to what happens in Iowa. But I didn’t, because the effect of Iowa is debatable. More and more people are realizing that caucuses don’t mean much.

    And there’s a fairly solid history of N.H. voters ignoring what happens in Iowa. I remember being surprised that Hillary Clinton won there last time, because I thought Obama had such momentum coming out of Iowa. And I thought that even though I’ve been urging everyone to ignore Iowa for years…

    Her N.H. performance was enough of a surprise that I had to go in late the night of the N.H. primary and pull this cartoon off the page.

    Maybe it was the tears… nah, I don’t think so. But I don’t know…

  7. Brad

    Phillip, I don’t think you and I are using “neo-conservative” the same way. And you seem to be suggesting that Paul is a conservative. He’s not. He’s a libertarian, which means he’s a classical liberal.

    And Doug, if that’s the key paragraph from Sullivan, I don’t think I’m going to be persuaded.

    But then, I wasn’t going to be anyway.

    Paul’s appeal is that he gets to play the little boy who said the emperor has no clothes. And occasionally he’s right that the emperor has no clothes. But he’s just as often wrong. But I think a lot of people enjoy him for the fact that, since he has no chance of being elected president, he just says whatever he wants, and the money keeps pouring in from his fans, which pays for him continuing to say what he wants, and so forth and so on.

  8. Brad

    Gingrich is like that, too, for his fans — whoever they are.

    There are certain things you just don’t say if you think there’s any chance that you might become president of the United States. Things that it would be irresponsible for a POTUS to have said.

    Take, for instance, what Gingrich said about the Palestinians not being an actual nation or ethnic group or anything. That was fine to say in an academic debate, to score points or for shock value or whatever. But because it’s so wildly undiplomatic, it’s bad for anyone who might be president to say. Say Gingrich won. Then we would have had a president who had, in the recent campaign, said something that delegitimizes him, in the eyes of many sincere people in the world, as an honest broker in the Mideast, that THAT undermines U.S. security.

    Give me a candidate who speaks like he actually expects to be president. Not a Gingrich or a Paul.

  9. Brad

    By the way, did y’all see that the National Review is the latest conservative establishment entity to say “no Gingrich, no way, nohow”?

    It said, “We fear that to nominate former Speaker Newt Gingrich, the frontrunner in the polls, would be to blow this opportunity.” And other uncomplimentary stuff

  10. Mark Stewart

    That’s just it; none of the Republican candidates really believes that they have a chance to win – which is far different from having the hubris to run (like Romney).

  11. Doug Ross


    When was Paul wrong? Do you have any examples? And I’m talking about wrong in the sense of factually incorrect, not wrong in that he disagrees with you.

    He was surely more right on the economy in 2008 than anyone else was, especially “head-in-the-sand” McCain.

    Paul’s vision of the world boils down to each person being responsible for himself and using his own ethical and moral character in dealing with others. That’s a big shock to those who feel the government should provide cradle to grave services and oversight based on the redistribution of wealth through an inefficient, corrupt system. But, you know, that makes some people feel safer.

  12. Kevin

    I am more interested in what Huntsman’s big South Carolinas backers have been up to – and what they have been thinking as this campaign has progressed. People like Henry McMaster and John Courson. Do you think they secretly hope that Huntsman drops out before SC so that they don’t have to go on the trail for him? I wouldn’t be surprised. McMaster and Courson are two of the godfathers of modern Republicanism in SC – and not to mention Huntsman has people like Alan Wilson and the Campbell’s in his corner too. I imagine it’s got to be kind-of embarrasing for these folks given tht Hunstman is a single digit candidate both nationally and in SC.

  13. `Kathryn Fenner

    “(your link to Sean Hatenity and Bill Bennett’s conversation)”

    HATE-nity–a Freudian slip, perchance?

  14. bud

    The more I watch Ron Paul on the debating trail the less appealing he becomes. He talks about cutting a $trillion of the deficit at a time of very high unemployment. That was proven to be a disaster in the 1930s and is proving equally wrong-headed in Great Britain today. Not sure why he is so appealing to so many. He spouts the same discredited libertarian BS over and over again. He has zero facts to back it up and zero credibility.

    On the other hand I do like his foreign policy positions. Folks like Bill Kristol just go nuts over his cut the military budget proclaimations so he must be right on that.

  15. Nick Nielsen

    Of all the people who have participated in the race for the Republican nomination, Jon Huntsman is the only one I can see me voting for.

    I’d vote for Alvin Green before I voted for any of the rest, and it wouldn’t be that hard a decision.

  16. Doug Ross


    Care to compare your credentials to Paul’s? I mean he’s only a doctor, congressman, expert on Austrian economics. I imagine when you read his books you didn’t find any facts to back his opinions, right? Wait – you didn’t read his books and base your opinion on 60 second responses in a debate?

    Who’s got zero credibility?

  17. bud

    I mean he’s only a doctor, congressman, expert on Austrian economics.

    Apparently he’s not an expert in economics if he thinks cutting a $trillion dollars from the Federal budget will help reduce unemployment. No self-respecting economist believes that.

  18. Doug Ross


    Really? Because it has been proven not to work, right?

    You understand that “cutting” a trillion dollars is really not borrowing another trillion dollars from the future? It’s cutting spending to match revenue. How many economists think you can borrow your way to prosperity?

    Keep trying.

  19. bud

    Doug, you and Ron Paul are just flat out wrong on this. And no self-proclaimation of being an expert is going to change that. When you cut money out of the federal budget that necessarily means you have to cut jobs. When you cut government jobs you do three things. First, unemployment immediately increases by the number of jobs lost. With a $trillion decrease in spending that means a whole lot of jobs. Second, those people out of work spend less. That results in more people losing their jobs. And finally, the general loss in jobs brings about a decline in confidence resulting in the loss of spending even by folks who still have jobs. That further reduces the number of jobs.

    Government jobs are jobs just the same as someone who writes computer software or grooms dogs. They contribute to the welfare of society by keeping our food fresh, our water and air clean, teaching our children, policing our streets and protecting our homes from fire, and by providing a large range of both necessary and useful services. By demonizing government workers as Ron Paul does we end up with a culture where some folks who are good and productive citizens are viewed (incorrectly) as second class citizens. That may make people feel good on some level but it’s both wrong ethically and impractical as a solution to our economic system.

    The people who really should be demonized, becuase they share in the economic collapse, are those super rich folks who continue to shelter money and jobs overseas. The wealthy “job creators” who sit on trillions of dollars and draw huge salaries while 48% of their fellow Americans lanquish in poverty or near poverty. These are the folks who need a good slap down for their greed. The Ron Pauls of the world can write all the books they want and proclaim at the top of the mountain to anyone foolish enough to listen how “smart” they are but until they cannot honestly look at the last 5-10 years, when their ideas were largely implemented and acknowledge what a complete failure it has been then there is nothing left to do but give them a good kick in the backside and say no thanks!

    Ron Paul is nothing but a charleton selling snake oil. And hopefully the public will understand that before it is too late.

  20. bud

    Apparently my advice is falling on deaf ears to the voters in Iowa. Ron Paul now enjoys a lead while Newt has plummeted to third place. I was too quick to elevate Newt to equal status with Romney:

    Romney 3-2
    Newt 4-1
    Paul 6-1
    Bachmann 6-1
    Perry 6-1
    Santorum 7-1
    Huntsman 10-1

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