Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, is running for president for a second time, telling residents of the Granite State he can win but only if a majority of New Hampshire voters get behind him.
"New Hampshire hosts this election in a way it never did before, because everybody wants to move up right behind New Hampshire. I love it. I mean, really, that's the chance I have to win the presidency," Kucinich recently told a small but eager crowd of supporters.
Kucinich is so encouraged by the New Hampshire primary that he and his wife, Elizabeth, are looking to buy a house in the area.
The Ohio congressman told ABC News he has already seen a change from his run in 2004. He is still an anti-war, pro-peace candidate but believes that platform now has greater appeal to many Americans who have grown tired of four years in Iraq and ongoing tensions between the United States and Iran.
How the Underdog Runs
The style this underdog brings to voters is much different than that of the early front-runners.
The crowds are smaller, the venues less known, and often there is no need for a microphone or an extra area for hoards of reporters and cameras.
Kucinich speaks for roughly 45 minutes about his positions and immediately turns to the small crowds of voters to ask them what they think. He trolls the crowd and points to raised hands, listening intently and asking them questions in return.
"How many think it's fair to start talking about impeaching the president?" Kucinich asked.
A majority of hands go up in the crowd and Kucinich, eyebrows raised, draws out the drama, replying, "I'm listening closely to what the American people have to say, and you'll have my answer within the next month."
Peace of the Puzzle
The congressman doesn't just want out of Iraq or better relations with Iraq; he's also proposing, as he did in 2004, a Cabinet-level Department of Peace.
"I think a Department of Peace would be a balance and could work with the Department of War, or what is now called the Department of Defense," Kucinich told the crowd at a small Warner, N.H., bookstore.
Kucinich was at the same bookstore in 2004 and said of his recent rerun, "It's almost like the movie 'Groundhog's Day,' but this time, we're going to change the ending."
On Kucinich's most recent trip to New Hampshire -- the fourth of his most recent quest for the Oval Office -- ended with a town hall event in Manchester.
The location was moved at the last minute due to an electricity outage, but Kucinich volunteers waved signs in the snowy streets to regroup another 40 people to the new location.
Kucinich asked the small crowd to make a circle and openly discuss his opening question: "What do you want America to be?"
"I want a guaranteed income and an increase in minimum wage," one voter said.
Others around the circle expressed their concerns about education, health care and the war in Iraq.
One woman received laughs when asking for all great minds to come together and create a "really good calorie-free chocolate."
The conversation was flowing and Kucinich took pages of notes. Near the end of the two hour discussion, many voters worried that Kucinich's messages wouldn't be heard, because the media have focused on the early Democratic front-runners with the highest fundraising tallies.
Kucinich didn't say how much money he had raised, but he believes that if the voters stand behind him, he won't need much money.
At both New Hampshire speeches, Kucinich staffers left a small glass mug and paper cup on a table full of bumper stickers and yard signs so voters could contribute $1 at a time.
"Every little bit counts!" one staffer said as she looked at the cup.
Kucinich told voters people were joining his campaign one by one, and the media would come.
"As this campaign starts to emerge in New Hampshire -- and it will -- there will be a level of excitement not only in this state but in other places as we start to move up as it nears the election. That excitement is going to be like watching your favorite team play in the finals of the NCAA and come from behind and everybody gets involved in the story," Kucinich, presumably disappointed by Ohio State's recent loss to Florida in the national championship, said.
Some voters at the town hall meeting suggested that Kucinich run as an independent, believing his voice would be heard more clearly, but others told him not to give up on the Democratic Party.
The congressman stood strong with his Democratic roots of 30 years, saying he wouldn't run as an independent.
"I'm an independent-spirited Democrat," he said. "But people ask me all the time, why is it that you don't run as an independent? My answer … I'm doing missionary work."