By DAN TUOHY
New Hampshire Union Leader
MANCHESTER — Republican presidential hopeful George Pataki is doubling down on New Hampshire and will devote his time and campaign resources to the first-in-the-nation primary state.
As he pushes all-in here, Pataki is hiking a worn path for candidates who find themselves against the ropes, or those who start to hear the tick-tock of the race grow louder and more emphatic.
But the former New York governor, in an exclusive interview with the New Hampshire Union Leader about his campaign recalibration, repeated that he's in it for the long haul.
“From here on out, it's going to be New Hampshire, New Hampshire, New Hampshire, New Hampshire, New Hampshire – and then the rest of the country,” he said.
This Pataki game plan is also a story about the GOP race at large, in which even candidates with millions in their campaign coffers are reviewing tactics and, from here until primary day, preparing to spend their sums and their energies on reaching voters.
Pataki is not the only one trailing in the polls. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is leading in the fundraising, but he has seen his poll numbers slide over the past two months.
“Polls don't matter,” Bush said at a town hall meeting in Bedford last week. He told his audience that Granite Staters make up their minds a week or two before the primary. Then he added, sounding a bit like Pataki, “This is a long haul race.”
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