Though Perry currently sits in the single digits in New Hampshire polls, he has in recent surveys bested former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman — both of whom have devoted significant time and resources to the state.
Perry’s now infamous comment about the possibility of Texas seceding from the union — made in jest, according to aides — has often been presented as Exhibit A among those who believe Perry would have difficulty attracting an audience outside his conservative Texas comfort zone.
But in New Hampshire, where the “live free or die” ethos is regarded as something more powerful than a mere slogan, Perry’s visceral and unabashed hostility toward Washington could play well.
“His obvious disgust for the federal government makes him attractive to the tea party-aligned voters here,” Andrew Hemingway, chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Liberty Caucus, told RCP.
With Perry’s history of straddling the establishment and tea party wings of the party, Hemingway offered a bold prediction for the unique assets that the Texas governor could bring to the table in New Hampshire. “I think ultimately Rick Perry is a candidate who secures Haley Barbour’s money with Sarah Palin’s endorsement,” he said.