Posted: 10:21 pm Friday, February 5th, 2016
By Jamie Dupree
From Derry, New Hampshire –
It was a week ago in Ames, Iowa that I clearly saw the signs of building momentum for Marco Rubio, as attendance numbers swelled for Rubio in the Hawkeye State. And after a good turnout on Friday night at a middle school here, it’s time to ask if that is being repeated in New Hampshire.
“I saw the pictures a little while ago of people lining up before the sun had gone down,” Rubio said, as the line formed almost two hours before the start of the event, which first was slated for the cafeteria at Hood Middle School.
“We had to move it to a bigger venue to accommodate everyone,” Rubio told the crowd in the school’s gymnasium.
Don’t get me wrong – it wasn’t the biggest crowd ever, and there was still a lot of room to pack people in there.
But it just seemed like the momentum that broke late to Rubio in Iowa might be repeating itself in New Hampshire.
Watch the polls. And watch Rubio.
Rubio was introduced by three well known Republicans who aren’t really part of the GOP establishment, as Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) got the crowd ready.
But it was also more evidence that other GOP lawmakers in the Congress were getting on board with Rubio.
After Rubio was finished, I dutifully recorded my stories, fed them out and started to pack.
Then I noticed that Rubio was still there working the crowd.
It seemed like a good evening for Rubio, in terms of connecting with New Hampshire voters.
“He’s been right on most of the issues I care about,” said Harry Shepler of Bedford, New Hampshire, who said he made up his mind after the last debate in Iowa.
“It took me a long time to decide between Rubio and Cruz,” Shepler told me.
That’s the type of decision being made by many voters here; how they break in the final days may well determine if Rubio sees a surge like the one he enjoyed in Iowa.
About the Author
Jamie Dupree is the Radio News Director of the Washington Bureau of the Cox Media Group and writes the Washington Insider blog. A native of Washington, D.C., Jamie has covered Congress and politics in the nation’s capital since the Reagan Administration, and has been reporting for Cox since 1989.