Huntsman in the Woods of New Hampshire

Jon Huntsman Jr. is surging in New Hampshire, but what to make of the results if he pulls off a second place upset?

Well, I predicted that Jon Huntsman would pull off that upset on with Steve Bannon and Larry O’Connor, back when it was a long shot. Here’s what led me to that conclusion. Take a gander at the WMUR-University of New Hampshire poll:

While Paul does best among Undeclared voters who identify as independents with 30%, followed by Huntsman (24%), and Romney (24%). And among Undeclared voters who identify as Democrats, Huntsman does best with 39%, followed by Romney (23%), and Paul (16%).

New Hampshire allows same-day registration for voting.

It remains to be seen if Huntsman’s strategy of appealing to his country first has any real play with these independent-minded voters. His penultimate ad of the New Hampshire campaign trail is titled “Country First,” much like John McCain’s same “Country First” slogan in 2008.

Perhaps Huntsman is seeking to be the John McCain of 2008. Unlike most of his co-religionists who endorsed Romney in 2008, Huntsman endorsed McCain. John McCain could not have won New Hampshire without Undeclareds and Democrats coming out to vote in the Republican primary in 2008. Jon Huntsman has one of the more conservative records in the field, but he inexplicably teamed up with John Weaver, a former McCain advisor in 2000 and 2008 to run a moderate campaign. Huntsman is polling behind Colbert in South Carolina and he has failed to qualify in many primary states (not just VA). He didn’t make the cut in Arizona as announced earlier today.

Still his father, Jon Huntsman Sr, is worth more than $5 billion, meaning he has more resources to put into his son’s campaign and PAC.

Add to that Huntsman Sr.’s desire to “die broke” by giving away his money to charity. You might have the older Huntsman giving away some of his money to the biggest charity case of the 2012 election: his son.