With its caucus less than a month away, Iowa has been the immediate focus among the GOP presidential hopefuls, but Newt Gingrich’s campaign has kept one eye fixed on New Hampshire.
Gingrich did receive the endorsement of New Hampshire Union Leader, the state’s leading newspaper, but he’s not quite dominating the state in the polls, at least not yet.
Gingrich trailed Romney by 9 percent, according to a new CNN poll out this week. Of likely Republican primary voters, 35 percent said they supported Romney, and 26 percent said they supported Gingrich.
Although the Iowa campaign office opened to a shaky start just this week, with reports of an empty work space and a gas leak in the building, the New Hampshire office has apparently been open and ready to go since early November. The campaign has once again ramped up its staff, adding five more people this week.
Sam Pimm, will direct field operations, and Dave Hurst will head political research.
Pimm, a former volunteer for the Reagan campaign, is the founder of the New Hampshire Reagan Republican Network, a statewide grassroots organization of conservative Republican activists.
Hurst is the chairman of the New Hampshire Young Republicans.
Charlie Spano, formerly of the Herman Cain campaign, will serve as deputy field director, and Jamie Coughlin will head social media and phone banks.
Also jumping onboard this week is a Rick Perry state delegate, Bob Burns, who will serve as deputy state director.
Matt LeDuc, who is Gingrich’s spokesman in the Granite State, told ABC News last week that the campaign’s volunteer signups had “gone through the roof” since the Union Leader endorsement, with more than 1,000 people wanting to help out.
While the Union Leader has been the Gingrich campaign’s most important endorsement so far, a couple of people stepped up this week to throw support to the campaign..
Jack Kimball, a state Tea Party leader and former New Hampshire Republican Party chairman, and former Nashua Mayor Bernie Streeter, endorsed Gingrich this week.
Gingrich heads to New Hampshire Monday to participate in a “Lincoln-Douglas” style debate with fellow candidate Jon Huntsman and St. Anselm’s Institute of Politics. The New Hampshire primary takes place Jan. 10.