Don’t Look Now, But John Kasich Just Held His 50th NH Town Hall

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HOOKSETT, N.H. – Ohio Governor John Kasich held his fiftieth town hall in New Hampshire Wednesday night, more than any other candidate in the presidential race. And to celebrate, he brought a cake.

“Isn’t that cool?” he said of the American flag design, encouraging supporters to come up and grab a slice. “It’s really neat.”

Kasich finds himself among a swarm of Republicans pinning their presidential hopes on the Granite State. Jeb Bush recently sent several of his Miami staffers to New Hampshire, and Chris Christie has spent the vast majority of his campaign in the state.

Kasich admitted that a poor finish here would doom his chances.

“If I get smoked here, I’m going to cry and I’m going to go home,” he said. “I don’t think that’s going to happen, because we have too good of an organization.”

Bruce Berke, a Concord lobbyist who supports Kasich, says the town hall “blitz” will pay off.

“I think it just really demonstrates what the New Hampshire primary is all about,” Berke told ABC News. “The governor is working harder than anybody else. And think about it -- no one has done fifty.”

Christie’s camp is quick to point out that he’s close behind with 46 town halls, often drawing hundreds of supporters compared to dozens for Kasich. According to local affiliate WMUR’s Candidate Tracker, Christie has also spent more days in the state than anyone besides Lindsey Graham, who dropped out of the race in December.

Kasich and Christie are both following the lead of John McCain, who famously held more than 100 New Hampshire town halls during his successful 2000 and 2008 bids.

Before wheeling out the cake, Kasich said he hoped to hit the century mark himself -- even if he had to come back after February 9th, when voters will head to the polls.

“I just gotta stay out here. And I want you to hear me and get to know me.”

Afterwards, accountant Bill Waldert said he was impressed with Kasich’s charisma.

“He’s the first one to bribe us with cake,” he noted with a smile. When asked if it was enough to win his vote, he shrugged. “I keep wandering back to Christie. My mind is between the two.”