New Hampshire US Senator Judd Gregg said today the candidate he backs for president, Mitt Romney, doesn't have to win the two earliest states -- Iowa and New Hampshire -- to capture the Republican nomination.
The Romney campaign has pursued very aggressive strategy in both Iowa and New Hampshire, but in recent weeks Mike Huckabee has taken the lead in Iowa.
Gregg attributed Huckabee's rise in Iowa to the backing of Christian conservatives there, something he says has little effect in the more secular Granite State.
"It is a whole different election in Iowa than it is in New Hampshire and I am confident he will do quite well," Gregg said in response to a question during a conference call with local reporters.
He said that considering only two non-incumbent candidates have won both Iowa and New Hampshire -- Jimmy Carter and John Kerry -- history suggests that Romney doesn't have to win both.
He went on to describe this particular presidential primary as "the most wide open in my life if not the most wide open ever".
"This whole process is very fluid," Gregg said. "The only predictable thing about New Hampshire voters is how unpredictable they are."