The Granite State doesn't typically go for evangelicals from the South, but the Texas governor is trying to change that
BEDFORD VILLAGE, N.H.--For a Southern presidential candidate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has been spending valuable time early on in New Hampshire, a secular state not known for its embrace of evangelical Republicans. But the time he's spending here--and the fact that his political guru, Dave Carney, is a native intimately familiar with New Hampshire politics--shows that he's playing for keeps in a state that could determine his prospects in both the primary and against President Obama.
His campaign foray Wednesday morning into Bedford Village at the state's Politics and Eggs breakfast is a significant marker, providing an early road test of whether he can expand his support beyond the South and evangelical voters. The 235 expected attendees are the types that Perry will need to win over if he is to retain the top-tier status he earned instantly with his entrance last week.
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If Perry can play in New Hampshire, even a solid second-place finish could rattle the local favorite Mitt Romney, and boost his presidential chances greatly. He's already showing signs he's intently focused on the state--his stop will be the second in five days since kicking off his campaign. If Bill Clinton was the Comeback Kid in New Hampshire in 1992, Perry could be the governor who defied the demographic odds in 2012.