Baked New Hampshire?

by Robert Costa

Nashua, N.H. — Jon Huntsman is surging, if a crowded pastry kitchen is a sign of momentum. At Crosby’s Bakery this afternoon, the former Utah governor drew a packed house; reporters, cameramen, and sign-toting supporters stood on their toes or perched on buckets to get a better view. The quick stop at the local favorite was more of a media event than anything, but the strong turnout hints at what could be an eleventh-hour boomlet in the Granite State, at least according to a handful of polls.

As he made his way into the parking lot, past a pile of flour bags, I asked Huntsman whether he senses an uptick. “I haven’t heard the word ‘surge’ yet, and I’ll believe it when I see it,” he told me. “All you guys have said that we’re way down. But there is energy on the street out there; there’s momentum.”

Moving a few steps forward, he added that he’s not going to raise expectations. “We’re not going to call it a surge yet, but it’s something like that,” he said.

“Something like that?”

“Something like that,” he said, smiling.

A few minutes earlier under a canopy of Klieg lights, speaking to volunteers, Huntsman urged them to “shock” the pundits. “We need to pick up a little something to carry us through tomorrow,” he said. “We’re going to see if we can upend conventional wisdom.”

“I feel pretty good about this,” he said. “New Hampshire loves an underdog, right?”

To have a better-than-expected showing on Tuesday, Huntsman advisers are hoping to win big among independents. According to the Associated Press, these voters comprise 40 percent of the state’s electorate, and state law allows them to vote in the primary.

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