He may be climbing in the polls, but influential Republicans say Newt Gingrich has a long way to go in terms of his campaign organization in the Granite State.
No New Hampshire respondents rated Gingrich's campaign as the state's strongest in the latest Patch-Huffington Post GOP Power Outsiders survey.
By comparison, more than half (53 percent) of the 51 local Republicans responding to the poll said that Romney has the best campaign organization in the state, followed by Ron Paul at 16 percent, Rick Perry at 10 percent, Jon Huntsman at 4 percent and Rick Santorum and Herman Cain at 2 percent each.
The results come in spite of the Gingrich campaign's hiring of Tea Party activist Andrew Hemingway and former Thad McCotter and Michele Bachmann campaign staffers in recent months.
Gingrich fared poorly among Iowa Republicans as well. Thirty-five percent of Iowa respondents said Ron Paul has the best campaign organization in the state, followed by Bachmann (21 percent) and Santorum (15 percent). In South Carolina, Perry finished first at 28 percent, followed by Gingrich and Santorum at 14 percent apiece.
The results also show the extent of the Power Outsiders' contact with the campaigns, via email, U.S. mail, telephone, door-knocking or a personal meeting with the candidate.
Virtually all of them said they had been contacted by at least one campaign, and more than three out of four said they have personally met at least one of the candidates in the last year, with most meeting several (2.9 on average).
Among Power Outsiders in New Hampshire, 90 percent said they have had some contact with the Romney campaign, followed by Perry at 82 percent, Paul at 80 percent, Cain at 75 percent, Santorum at 73 percent and Gingrich at 69 percent. Despite campaigning almost exclusively in New Hampshire, only 67 percent said they had been contacted by Huntsman's campaign, above only Bachmann at 41 percent.
Each week, our local Patch editors will be asking influential New Hampshire Republicans questions about the presidential campaign, and we'll report the results here.
We’re always looking to expand our list of influential members of both parties in New Hampshire. If you’d like to participate, email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll connect you with the appropriate Patch editor.