Jan. 9 - Republican presidential candidates try to chase front-runner Mitt Romney hours before voting begins in New Hampshire. Katharine Jackson reports.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney talks to workers in a Hudson, New Hampshire metal fabricating company...hoping to forge his frontrunner status with a win in the nation's first 2012 primary election on Tuesday. Romney won by just eight votes in Iowa. Polls show him heavily favored to win in New Hampshire. Back to back wins in Iowa and New Hampshire would be unprecedented by a candidate who is not an incumbent. Hours before polls were set to open, Republican contenders vied to overtake Romney in the march towards a nomination to face President Barack Obama. Former House speaker Newt Gingrich - who finished fourth in Iowa - told voters in Nashua - despite polls, this election's outcome is still in the hands of voters. (SOUNDBITE) (English) REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE NEWT GINGRICH, SAYING: "We have from every poll we've seen including one this morning, this election is wide open. It is a classic, New Hampshire, last minute, you pollsters thought you understood us and boy were you wrong." Utah Governor Jon Huntsman shook hands in Concord, hoping he will be the latest Republican to surge to the front of a crowded field of candidates. Libertarian congressman Ron Paul stopped at a diner in Manchester and was quickly surrounded by reporters. In Salem, Rick Santorum, who finished a close second in Iowa, turned his sights on Romney...saying the former Massachusetts governor was too moderate in office. And Texas Governor Rick Perry was already shifting focus to South Carolina, attending a luncheon in the Palmetto State, where a primary will be held on January 21. New Hampshire voting begins in one small town at midnight and opens statewide at six a.m. Katharine Jackson, Reuters.