Huntsman moving campaign to New Hampshire

Reuters News

9/29/2011 5:08:49 PM - Reuters News

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman, struggling in the polls, announced on Thursday he is moving his campaign headquarters to New Hampshire where his best hopes for a breakthrough lie.

The former U.S. ambassador to China, Huntsman hopes to score a surprise victory in the state that will hold the first primary in the race to decide the Republican presidential nominee in 2012.

His headquarters until now has been in Orlando, Florida, a swing state that will prove important to determining the nominee and the next president. But for Florida to mean anything for Huntsman he must first do well in New Hampshire, where rival Mitt Romney holds a strong lead.

"As evidenced by recent polling, Jon Huntsman's support with New Hampshire voters continues to grow every day and this move will ensure that we have the resources necessary to win the first-in-the-nation primary," said Huntsman campaign manager Matt David.

"Success in New Hampshire is vital for our campaign to have the momentum we need to succeed in South Carolina, Florida, and the states that follow," he said.

A Fox News poll of Republican voters this week gave 4 percent support to Huntsman nationally, with Romney at 23 percent and Texas Governor Rick Perry at 19 percent.

(Reporting by John Whitesides and Steve Holland; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)