Huntsman May Drop if He Doesn't Crack Top 3 in NH

He suggests to AP that a weak showing would end his run

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 30, 2011 4:48 PM CST

(Newser) – It's getting to be put-up-or-shut-up time for the back-benchers in the GOP field. Rick Santorum, for instance, says he's done if he flops in Iowa. Now Jon Huntsman is setting a bar of his own in New Hampshire: If he doesn't finish in the top three, he will likely drop out of the race, reports AP. He doesn't say so explicitly, but AP assumes as much from lines like this in the interview:

"If we cross that threshold and the headline or the storyline is, 'Huntsman did better than expected, he exceeded market expectations,' then you know you've done something and you can carry on," he says. Huntsman has all but given up on Iowa (he's even tossing around mild insults at state residents) to instead commit fully to New Hampshire, and a weak finish would be political disaster. A poll out this week has him fourth at 9%.

Jon Huntsman speaks at the Laconia Rotary Club luncheon in Laconia, N.H., Thursday.
Jon Huntsman speaks at the Laconia Rotary Club luncheon in Laconia, N.H., Thursday.   (AP Photo/Cheryl Senter)
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