Hunts-mentum? Jon Huntsman Draws Big Crowds in New Hampshire

Evan Vucci/AP Photo

People were spilling into the parking lot of the Bean Towne Coffee House in Hampstead, N.H., even before presidential candidate Jon Huntsman arrived. By the time the former Utah governor pushed his way through the cluster of reporters, the small coffee shop was standing room only.

Thrilled by this new-found attention, Huntsman jumped up on the coffee shop's counter to give a condensed version of his stump speech and rally the troops. Then he jumped down into the crowd to shake a few hands.

Huntsman, who has devoted the majority of his campaign to New Hampshire, said today's turnout was proof that his candidacy is finally gaining steam.

"You're seeing a market movement right here, there's no question about it," Huntsman said, beaming. "I can feel the surge on the ground. It's very real. … It's that wave."

The former ambassador to China has been polling around 1 percent nationally and still sits in the single-digits in the latest New Hampshire polls. But those polls apparently don't bother Huntsman.

"They change with each passing hour," he said with a huge smile as reporters swarmed him outside the coffee shop. "They're moving up and up and up. We'll get back on later on and see that we're different than we were this morning and that's great. That's terrific."

With the New Hampshire primary just two days away, Huntsman said he is going to "barnstorm this state" and "remind people that the underdog is out there, the underdog that can change this country."

Despite only 9 percent of likely New Hampshire GOP primary voters supporting him in the latest poll, Huntsman said "it's sure feeling like" he could win the Granite state's primary.

Answering questions the whole way out of the coffee shop meet-and-greet, he then jumped into the driver's seat of his SUV. Before driving off, he left the throng of reporters with this:

"There's energy, there is momentum building in this state and we've gone from margin of error, the very back of the pack to right near the top. It's changing hour by hour in this state. I feel the energy. It's happening New Hampshire style!"