U.S. Rep. Ron Paul told supporters at a house party in Merrimack that he best place in second or third in New Hampshire and Iowa to make continuing on in the election cycle worthwhile.
“If we put the investment in and the time, I mean, if you go to the far extreme, say fifth or something, I think in reality it would be really tough to go on,” Paul, the Congressman from Texas said at the home of Aaron and Jenny Walker. “Raising money and the odds of doing well after that would be really difficult. Doing well here to keep going doesn't mean you have to win Iowa and New Hampshire but you certainly better be second and third.”
Paul has consistently been polling in either second or third place in New Hampshire.
In the most recent poll conducted by WMUR and the University of New Hampshire, Paul polled third at 12 percent. Romney lead with 42 percent and Gingrich held the support of 15 percent polled.
What works in his favor, Paul said to the crowd of about 50 gathered at the Walkers' home, is that his supporters are loyal. Throughout the primary there have been peaks and valleys for several candidates including Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry and Herman Cain. The man garnering buzz most recently has been Newt Gingrich, following last Sunday's New Hampshire Union Leader endorsement.
Paul said candidates have risen and fallen, but his campaign has not experienced that, and he doesn't expect it will.
“The one thing that we feel good about is when we do get supporters, they're not flip-floppers,” Paul said to laughter from the crowd. “They're enthusiastic.”
Paul said he feels comfortable in New Hampshire, because he believes he has the support of a lot of Independents, and they make up a large group of the voters.
“If you do polling with independents, I'm pretty sure I come out the best on Independents because I take an independent stand on this,” Paul said. “I'm concerned about civil liberties, I'm concerned about those expenditures overseas and really having cuts, so this is an appeal to Independents.
Paul has said he expects Independent voters to give him a boost on Jan. 10.
"I think it's possible," Dante Scala told Patch earlier this week on how much of an impact independent voters could have on Paul's bid.
Scala is a University of New Hampshire political science professor.
"I have a hard time seeing how Paul would make a serious challenge to Romney on the backs of Independents. I don't know that there are many Ron Paul independents out there."
Still, Scala said second place is a distinct possibility for Paul in New Hampshire.
During his hour long chat with voters, Paul also spoke about spending, cutting the budget back to what it looked like in 2006, eliminating federal agencies like the Department of Education and the Department of Energy, removing troops from foreign countries, insurance, education and more.
Paul said there are no serious decisions being made in Washington about how to fix the nations problems and his proposed solution is to run America the way the country's forefathers designed it.
“We shouldn't do anything in Washington that isn't authorized in the Constitution,” he said to applause. “We don't have to invent something new.”
Following the event, Ann McIntyre, of Merrimack, who was seeing Paul in person for the first time said she thought the things he said were on track.
“I think a lot of us know we need to stop spending and take care of things at home,” she said.
McIntyre said it's going to be a very tough job to get the country back on track for whomever is ultimately elected next year.
“It's going to take someone very strong,” she said.
Aaron Walker said he and his wife were thrilled to have Paul in their home.
The Walkers are members of the Church of Latter Day Saints and despite having two Mormon candidates in the primary, he said they back Paul because of his message and convictions.
“I believe that we have a ship that has gone woefully off course in the Republican party,” Walker said. “There is somebody who's been trying to get into the captain's chair and steer that wheel to get us on course.”
Walker said following the event that he and his wife and their four children were honored and privileged to have Paul in their home.
“He is always just spot on,” Walker said. “You hear him speak his message, a message he's been talking about for so long, and his position has never changed. Jenny and I are throwing our support behind Congressman Paul 110 percent.”