Here at OB&B we like to think we were ahead of the curve. We started promoting Jon for president almost as soon as we started our blog (and included him in our Sgt. Pepper logo). Our call to ‘Draft Jon Huntsman‘ was made on January 9, long before Jon had even left China. In fact, it was 2007 when Drae first announced that Jon Huntsman should run for president. Everything since then has just been a waiting game.
But here we are in almost-December, 2011. Newt Gingrich is gearing up for another epic flame-out (or, quite simply, people will remember why they couldn’t stand him for the last 13 years) and Mitt Romney is the candidate nobody really wants. More importantly, however, Jon Huntsman is rising in the New Hampshire polls. So as a service to you we thought we would let you know how the next few weeks will play out. When it happens, try to look surprised.
11% in New Hampshire is a nice foothold. But when the next Suffolk or Quinnipiac poll comes out with Jon at 12% or 13% (they have been a shade higher than Rasmussen) some more stories will come out about “the New Hampshire strategy -is it working?”. Newt begins his implosion.
Now, one of the difficulties Jon has had is that 1) people needed to get to know him, and 2) people are generally afraid to announce support for a candidate they don’t think can win. When next week’s poll numbers come out with Jon at 15% in New Hampshire (which at his current rate of growth is quite possible), his support will jump dramatically. The media will change its tone to “you know, he might actually do this.” This will be all another 5-7% need to hear to convince them that he has a real shot and to get them on board. 20% is in sight and easily reached. Newt continues his implosion.
Once Jon reaches 20% in New Hampshire (provided those extra 9% don’t come from Mitt directly, though we all hope they do) it will really be a race between Mitt and Jon. In a head to head comparison Jon’s core conservative principles dwarf Mitt’s. (editor’s note: points will be deducted for using the words “core principles” and “Mitt” in the same sentence) Voters will face the alarming reality that they may actually nominate Mitt Romney and will join team Huntsman in droves. The media will continue to spotlight “the comeback kid” who was once a margin-of-error candidate, but is now pulling off “The New Hampshire Miracle.” Jon Huntsman takes the New Hampshire primary with 35-40%,
And then the fun really starts.
This is our estimation of Jon’s likely path to victory in New Hampshire. Doubt us at your own risk. We have been surprisingly accurate in our predictions since we wrote our first Jon Huntsman post in January. But boasting aside, it has been a pleasure to follow his campaign, which has delivered on its promises to stay on-message and to avoid the vitriol that defines the campaigns of several of his republican competitors. Onward to victory!