Palin headed to NH on Romney's day

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) is scheduled to visit New Hampshire on Thursday, the same day former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) will make his presidential bid official in the Granite State.

According to the Manchester, N.H., Union Leader, Palin has reached out to New Hampshire Republicans about holding a clambake on the state's seacoast Thursday evening. 

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Palin was expected to visit New Hampshire, the first-in-the-nation primary state, soon as part of her closely watched bus tour. But she has refused to release her schedule in advance, and it was unknown exactly when she would set foot in the state. 

She told CNN that it's "coincidental" that her and Romney will be in the state on the same day.

Palin, who is weighing a run for president, has not visited the Granite State since the fall of 2008, when she was the GOP's vice presidential nominee.

The Thursday visit also puts her in the state just hours after Romney, the race's presumed front-runner, is scheduled to formally launch his campaign.

Observers have predicted that Palin's entry into the race could lay the groundwork for a grueling primary contest between her and Romney as chief rivals.

Palin has claimed that her tour is not related to a possible presidential campaign, but she is expected to take her bus to the key early primary and caucus states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina over the coming months. 

-- This post was updated at 9:53 a.m.