Huntsman's New Hampshire ads -- helping Romney?

Republican presidential candidate, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman speaks at the Peterborough and Jaffrey-Ringe Rotary meeting in Peterborough, N.H. Monday, Dec. 12, 2011.
AP Photo/Winslow Townson

With little time left to win over primary voters in New Hampshire, Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman is making a final push to get his message up on the airwaves.

Huntsman on Sunday emailed his supporters pledging to match every donation he receives, dollar for dollar, through Wednesday to air his ad entitled "Only one." (Watch it at left.)

"With only nine days to go until New Hampshire's primary, it is critical that we have the resources - both on the ground and on TV - to compete with Mitt Romney," Huntsman's email said.

Ironically, pollsters from Suffolk University postulate that the ads intended to help Huntsman in the early primary state may actually be helping Mitt Romney instead.

A Suffolk two-day tracking poll finds Romney maintaining a commanding lead in New Hampshire, with 41 percent support. Ron Paul comes in second with 15 percent, while Huntsman (at 9 percent) is jostling with Newt Gingrich (11 percent) for third.

Romney has consistently held a strong lead in New Hampshire, but for a period of time, it appeared that Gingrich could close in on him.

Huntsman, meanwhile, has bet his entire campaign on performing well in New Hampshire. The former Utah governor and his supporters have run ads in the Granite State slamming Romney and the other GOP candidates, and Huntsman has made some modest gains. In a recent ad, a pro-Huntsman super PAC likened Romney to a chameleon.

However, in a press release announcing the results of its poll, Suffolk pollsters say, "with both Romney and Huntsman sharing similar demographics, the ads appear to be benefiting Romney."

Huntsman told the Associated Press on Friday that he's likely to drop out of the race if he finishes below third place in New Hampshire.

"If we cross that threshold and the headline or the storyline is, `Huntsman did better than expected, he exceeded market expectations,' then you know you've done something and you can carry on," he said.