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Huntsman wins over at least 1 NH voter

By Holly Ramer
Associated Press / November 16, 2011

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DERRY, N.H.—Republican presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman scored a small victory in do-or-die New Hampshire Wednesday, winning over a voter who admitted he hadn't paid any attention to him until last week.

Ernie Alberghene of Derry said the former Utah governor hadn't caught his eye until last week's foreign policy debate. He showed up at a middle school library to hear Hunstman speak Wednesday night and left impressed enough to request two campaign signs for his yard.

"We've paid attention to all the headline makers, the people who get the most questions, and all the bad stuff that happens," he said.

Earlier, Alberghene told Huntsman he disagrees with his tax plan because it would eliminate tax deductions for homebuyers.

"This seems like a lousy time to take that away, especially for the younger generation trying to find its way," he said.

But Huntsman argued that in the long term, it doesn't make sense to continue a system that he says rewards debt over equity. And he said, "most people would be willing to trade off lower rates for a deduction like that."

That answer suited Alberghene fine.

"I liked the fact that he had an answer and he didn't just try to please me," he said.

Huntsman has remained low in the polls despite moving his national headquarters from Florida to New Hampshire, which holds the first primary Jan. 10. But he said he plans to continue his strategy of focusing almost exclusively on the state.

"We do a lot of grassroots work on the ground, and I think that gets you so high, and with the ads that are on, that will take us to a new level as well," he said. "I suspect by December, we're going to be about where we need to be to make this a truly competitive race."