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Kasich closes in on 100th NH town hall event

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Posted at 2:36 PM, Feb 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-02 14:36:23-05

When Ohio Governor John Kasich takes the stage of St. Anselm's College in Manchester, New Hampshire Saturday night for the ABC News Republican presidential debate he will likely remind voters of the town hall he held the day before.

It's not the fact an event in a conference center in Bedford would have been all that different from the other 99 he will have held to that point, it's the fact that he has held that many.

Remember New Hampshire, for its political size in terms of the clout it yields, is only a state of around 3.2 million people. By comparison, Cuyahoga County has roughly 3.1 million.

So imagine running for county office and holding 100 meetings with residents, taking their questions an hour at a time. That's what Kasich has done, that's what New Hampshire voters expect.

There's the old story of a New Hampshire voter who was asked how he felt about a particular presidential hopeful and he said he wasn't sure, he'd only met him twice.

These are the relationships that Kasich will be drawing on Tuesday when voters head to the polls in the nation's first primary.

"This is my 91st town hall meeting," Kasich told a group in Claremont Tuesday at the second of three events the day after his eighth place finish in Iowa.

"I've been working like the dickens, no Hail Mary passes. At the end of the day we will have done everything we can possibly do," Kasich said.

The Real Clear Politics average of New Hampshire polls has Kasich and Ted Cruz in a virtual tie for second in the Granite State, but a good 21 points behind Trump. Those polls were taken before Iowa, though with Kasich now facing a victorious Cruz, a wounded Donald Trump and a rapidly rising Marco Rubio.

Kasich supporter former Senator John Sununu told CNN, "the only real news coming out of Iowa I think is Donald Trump badly underperformed the polling, is beatable. That makes New Hampshire wide open," he said, adding that Kasich is the person who fits the bill for New Hampshire voters.

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