Three key facts describe the state of the Republican White House race in New Hampshire as the state prepares for the nation’s first presidential primary:
-More than two-thirds of Republican voters still haven’t decided among the candidates.
-People want someone who understands and shares their anger and frustration with Washington.
-The race is between former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and a player to be named later. Last month, the Romney alternative appeared to be Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Today, it’s Georgia businessman Herman Cain.
If that candidate has enough appeal to the state’s strong conservative corps of voters – who have long been skeptical about Romney’s commitment to their causes – and enough gravitas and money, Romney is in for a major struggle.
New Hampshire will offer the nation clues to the direction of this volatile race. The state’s primary is traditionally the campaign’s first secret-ballot presidential test, and voters unaffiliated with a political party can participate.