WASHINGTON (AP) — Jon Huntsman is moving his presidential campaign headquarters from Florida to New Hampshire, a sign that his struggling bid for the Republican nomination probably couldn't survive a poor showing in the nation's first primary contest.
The former Utah governor will close his national headquarters in Orlando, Fla., and open a new one in Manchester, N.H., his campaign said Thursday. He initially planned to campaign hard in two other early states, South Carolina and Florida.
The move also shows that Huntsman has struggled to raise the money he needs to maintain the large, expensive staff he had hired in those three states.
"It is taking advantage of the chaotic nature of this primary by pushing resources where significant traction is beginning to occur," Huntsman strategist John Weaver said in an email.
Weaver insisted that only two other candidates — former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry — are able to win the Republican presidential nomination. To win in New Hampshire, Huntsman would have to derail Romney, who is the heavy favorite.
"Making this extra push in New Hampshire is prudent and will make a big difference at this point of attack tactically for Gov. Huntsman," Weaver said.
News of the move was first reported by The New York Times.
Huntsman is trailing far behind his Republican rivals in national polls, but he has seen some improvement in a recent poll of New Hampshire voters.
As part of the shakeup, Huntsman will lay off some staff members. His campaign manager, Matt David, will continue to run the campaign.
The campaign will maintain offices in South Carolina and in Florida. The new Manchester office is set to open in October.
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