Jon Huntsman is running third behind
Mitt Romney and Ron Paul as voting begins Tuesday in the New
Hampshire presidential primary.
A third place finish for Huntsman could
be his ticket to relevancy in the GOP presidential nominating
The 51-year-old former governor of Utah
is considered the gay friendliest candidate among the six strongest
Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson
strongly endorsed gay marriage shortly before he switched party
affiliation from the GOP to the Libertarian Party, whose presidential
nomination he is now seeking. Fred Karger is the only GOP
presidential candidate in favor of gay marriage, but his low polling
numbers have locked him out of all Republican debates.
Huntsman, who skipped socially
conservative Iowa to focus on New Hampshire, doesn't support marriage
equality, but he is has spoken in favor of civil unions and a state's
right to adopt such laws.
However, Huntsman recently said that
the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) “serves a useful purpose.”
DOMA is the federal law that bars agencies from recognizing the legal
marriages of gay couples and allows states to ignore such marriage.
“It allows states to make their own
decisions, to make their own way, and the Defense of Marriage Act, I
think, is a safeguard for those states to make that decision,”
Huntsman said during an event at the National Press Club in the
District of Columbia.
According to at least 1 poll (Public
Polling Policy), Huntsman is trailing Ron Paul by only 2
percentage points (Paul 18%; Huntsman 16%) and Mitt Romney is leading
with 35 percent. Other polls show a wider gap between Paul and
Huntsman, but the average is about 3 percent.