Friday, January 16, 2015

Romney vs. Bush: Home-Field Advntage goes to Romney in New Hampshire

Jeb Bush might have to play from behind for 2016 bid if ex-Mass. governor taps deep ties to GOP activists
So far, the presidential campaign stare-down between former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and former Florida governor Jeb Bush has mostly played out behind closed doors and on the phone among major Republican donors. But on the ground in New Hampshire, there is a clear favorite.
Romney announces 2012 Bid in Stratham, NH
In a place where personal relationships are crucial to winning a presidential primary or a town selectman’s race, Romney has been in regular contact with Granite State political activists for nearly a decade. He has a home in Wolfeboro. He still texts with certain state senators. He took special care to announce his 2012 presidential campaign in Stratham and hold his last event of the campaign in Manchester.
Romney is applauded by former New Hampshire Gov. 
John Sununu, right, and former New Hampshire Sen. Judd
 Gregg while speaking to customers during a campaign stop 
at Old Salt Restaurant in Hampton, N.H., Saturday,
 Dec. 31, 2011. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
Meanwhile, Bush has not been in the state in 15 years and hasn’t even been in touch with those close to the Bush family in the state.
“I haven’t talked to [Jeb] at all, but I talk to his brother a lot,” said former US senator Judd Gregg, who was a big backer of Romney in 2008 and 2012.
The news Friday that Romney is considering a third run for the White House set off a chain of phone calls from Portsmouth to Peterborough trying to evaluate whether a third Romney run was a nonstarter — and, if not, what it would mean for a potential run by Bush. By Saturday, the calls were even coming from Romney himself, touching base with his New Hampshire network of supporters.
The early consensus among New Hampshire Republican activists, many of whom attended the weekend New Hampshire GOP annual meeting in Derry: Bush is a mythological concept, while Romney is the person they know. If he wants to run again, then why not?
Read the rest of the story HERE.

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