Newt Gingrich: Union Leader endorsement a big boost in New Hampshire
In a front page editorial Sunday, New Hampshire's prominent statewide Union Leader newspaper endorsed Newt Gingrich. It's a big boost for Gingrich and a blow to Mitt Romney, currently leading in polls.
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The WMUR-University of New Hampshire Granite State poll last week showed Romney with 42 percent support among likely Republican primary voters in New Hampshire. Gingrich came in second with 15 percent, followed by Rep. Ron Paul of Texas with 12 percent, and former Utah Gov. John Huntsman with 8 percent support.Skip to next paragraph
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Gingrich’s campaign nearly crashed and burned earlier this year when most of his staff quit in protest of what they saw as his lack of on-the-ground campaigning. And the former House Speaker’s effort has been dinged by reports of lucrative consulting work for mortgage giant Freddie Mac and the health care industry, his and his wife’s $500,000 line of credit at Tiffany’s, and continuing mention of his three marriages and acknowledged adultery.
But his campaign has regained strength and momentum – particularly in the critical state of New Hampshire.
Associated Press political writer Philip Elliott reports that Gingrich hired tea party leader Andrew Hemingway to lead his efforts, and his team has been contacting almost 1,000 voters a day.
“Hemingway's team of eight paid staffers in New Hampshire has been adding more than 100 volunteers each day, campaign officials said,” Elliott writes. “Gingrich's team already has lined up leaders in the major cities and has started identifying representatives in each ward in the state. Gingrich also has opened three offices in New Hampshire – in Manchester, the state's biggest city; in Dover in the eastern part of the state; and in the North Country's Littleton – and plans two more.”
The Union Leader’s endorsement by no means ensures success.
In 1999, the statewide newspaper endorsed Steve Forbes over George W. Bush (who publisher McQuaid referred to as “an empty suit”). Still, the newspaper’s backing carries significant weight, and not just in its formal endorsement.
"The Union Leader's style is we don't just endorse once," McQuaid told The Washington Post in 1999. "We endorse every damn day. We started endorsing Reagan in 1975 and never stopped."
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