ROCHESTER, N.H. -- Continuing to downplay expectations in New Hampshire, Mike Huckabee told reporters, "Everything above sixth place is momentum for us."
"Third would be phenomenal. Fourth or above is great for us because we were, just about two weeks ago, sixth and barely that. You know, people had pretty well decided we just weren't playing here. Even though we knew we had strong support and growing," Huckabee said.
"Obviously people ahead of us had either lots of name identification, strong organization, long history of being here. All of these were distinct disadvantages for us in New Hampshire but the advantage we had came down to the people in this state being very independent-minded and willing to hear our platform, and when they did, people signed on."
Huckabee said he's had "record crowds" in New Hampshire that are "jazzed." and added that the first place showing in the latest national Gallup poll is "encouraging" and sees promise in the primaries ahead.
"I think everyone who was trying to say ours was just an Iowa blip are missing something. Maybe they gotta open up and take a look at the numbers. We're leading in South Carolina, we're leading in Florida, we're either leading in every poll in Michigan or we're tied for first. We're leading in Texas, North Carolina, and Delaware. You know, it's a pretty amazing position to be."
Huckabee campaign strategist Ed Rollins said if Huckabee had two more weeks to campaign in New Hampshire, he would have been able to do better in New Hampshire but, in the end, it came down to an allocation of time and resources.