Huntsman jumps to third place with 13 percent in New Hampshire poll

A new poll found Jon Huntsman with 13 percent support from likely Republican and independent voters surveyed in New Hampshire.

The 7News/Suffolk University poll released late Wednesday found Huntsman in third place among likely Republican and New Hampshire voters, trailing Mitt Romney (with 38 percent) and Newt Gingrich (with 20 percent). The survey's findings are the best yet for Huntsman in the Granite State. Previously, his best poll in New Hampshire showed him in fourth place at 11 percent, behind Romney, Gingrich and Ron Paul.

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The poll also found that most New Hampshire voters hold a favorable view of the former Utah governor. Thirty-nine percent said in the poll that they have a favorable impression of Huntsman while 32 percent have either never heard of or are undecided on him and 29 percent hold an unfavorable view.

The modest gains in the 7News/Suffolk University poll reflect Huntsman's near-exclusive focus on performing well in the early primary state. Huntsman had previously polled at 9 percent when 7News/Suffolk University surveyed the GOP primary field with the same questions last month.

Huntsman is staking his presidential campaign's future on New Hampshire. He hopes that if he can perform well there, he can use the momentum to help him win successive victories in later states.

"This poll confirms that Gov. Huntsman’s message of restoring trust in Washington, ending bailouts for too-big-to-fail Wall Street banks and eliminating crony capitalism is resonating with voters who are fed up with politics-as-usual in Washington," Huntsman campaign manager Matt David wrote in a fundraising email to supporters touting the poll.

The poll surveyed 400 likely Republican and independent voters between Dec. 10 and 13 and has a margin of error of 4.9 percentage points.