Plaistow, N.H.

At a townhall meeting Sunday evening, Jon Huntsman predicted a “two-man race” to win New Hampshire’s primary next month between himself and current state frontrunner Mitt Romney. Pointing to last week’s poll of the Republican race from Suffolk University, Huntsman told the group of about 40 in the library of Timberlane Regional High School that he is “overtaking Ron Paul for third place.” The Suffolk poll showed Huntsman with 13 percent support to Romney’s 38 percent and Newt Gingrich’s 20 percent.

Responding to a question about whether his campaign will end if he loses New Hampshire, Huntsman said that “failure is not an option” and that he looks at the Granite State as the beginning of his race for the White House. “We’ve come from the ‘margin of error’ status,” he said. “I can’t call ourselves ‘the margin of error candidate’ anymore.” According to RealClearPolitics, Huntsman is, on average, at 11 percent in New Hampshire and in fourth place behind Romney, Gingrich, and Paul. In national polls, he maintains his “margin of error” status with 3 percent on average.

Huntsman also trumpeted the endorsements of his campaign from two newspapers in the state, the Valley News and the Keene Sentinel. Earlier this month, Gingrich won the endorsement of the New Hampshire Union Leader, the state’s largest and most influential paper. But Huntsman said the momentum seems to be on his side.

“I can forecast how this thing’s going to play out,” he said. “This wave is going to continue to build by the end of the month. It’s going to spill over into early January. It will be a two-man race, I can tell you that right now.”

Huntsman paused, then added: “I’d put 10,000 bucks on it if I were a betting man.”

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