Trump goes for broke in NH

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BEDFORD, N.H. – Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump thought biker rally crowd would resemble ‘I Have a Dream’ speech Weld wins Libertarian nomination for VP Dems to Clinton: Ignore Trump on past scandals MORE is ramping up his ground game and promising a heavy advertising campaign in the homestretch to New Hampshire’s Feb. 9 primary.

Trump’s campaign has announced that more than 200 town chairmen in New Hampshire will be helping him put up signs and get people to the polls.

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He also is vowing to launch a $2 million ad buy in New Hampshire and South Carolina, where he has healthy leads in polls, and in Iowa, where he now trails Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzDems to Clinton: Ignore Trump on past scandals Meet the billionaire donor behind Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit against Gawker Party chairs see reversal of fortune MORE (R-Texas).

Cruz is seen by many as the favorite to win Iowa’s caucuses on Feb. 1, which would increase the pressure on Trump to carry out a resounding victory in New Hampshire.

Trump has dominated the GOP race for the White House, forcing other candidates to react to him and winning blanket news coverage that has made it difficult for his rivals to get attention.

Yet he now faces a crucial month in which he must show that his dominance in polls and the news cycle will translate to concrete wins in primary and caucus states.

Two losses in a row would be a serious blow to the effort Trump has made to cast himself as the inevitable GOP winner.

Some wonder if Trump will even stay in the race if he loses New Hampshire.

“It’s pretty clear Trump doesn’t have a lot of patience for losers – and I don’t think he’s going to have a lot of patience for losing,” said Dante Scala, New Hampshire Primary expert and political science professor at the University of New Hampshire.

“I think [if Trump finishes in second,] he would tire of that quickly.”

Trump has to be considered the favorite in New Hampshire.

The billionaire has led in the Granite State for months, and has more than double the support of his nearest competitors in several recent polls.

The state also has a history of backing iconoclastic candidates — including Pat Buchanan, who won the state’s primary over Sen. Bob Dole in 1996. 

Trump is sounding a confident note in the state, as are his supporters.

“There is more momentum, energy and enthusiasm than I’ve seen in any presidential race in the past 4-5 cycles,” said Lou Gargiulo, the Rockingham county co-chair for Trump’s campaign and a New Hampshire political veteran.

Gargiulo supported Gov. Mitt Romney in the 2008 and 2012 primaries, but said the energy at Romney’s rallies was “not even remotely close” to what he’s seeing with Trump.

The promises of an ad campaign and work on the ground suggest Trump is leaving nothing to chance — though his previous vows to put more of his own money into his campaign have not materialized.

If nothing else, Trump has started to press those attending his rallies to show up and vote.

At his rally last week in Nashua, N.H., he repeatedly begged his supporters to make it to the polls and fended off pundit attacks that his supporters may not be voters.

“What are you doing standing here all night if you're not going to vote?” Trump asked the rowdy crowd of more than 1,000, including hundreds stranded outside the venue after its capacity was reached.

Over the next week, a door-to-door effort will begin to make sure Trump’s supporters go to the polls, according to Gargiulo

“It is inaccurate to say there are certain groups of people that do or don’t vote ... for Donald Trump when the polls open,” said Josh Youssef, Belknap county co-chair for Trump’s campaign.

“Finally after decades of incompetent [political class] leadership, they’re going to see a real opportunity for redemption, [which will] translate to actually getting out and voting with their hearts.”