This morning there’s more proof of what those on the ground in early states have been arguing for months: If US Senator Marco Rubio were a stock, you should buy him.

Rubio has cruised to the top tier in New Hampshire, according to a new WMUR Granite State Poll from the University of New Hampshire. Former Florida governorJeb Bush tops the list at 15 percent, and Rubio comes in second place with 12 percent – within the margin of error. This puts him ahead of Wisconsin GovernorScott Walker and US Senator Rand Paul for the first time this year.

Even more promising for Rubio: The poll shows he’s the most liked in the field.

Today in New Hampshire: Rick Perry and Chris Christie

New Hampshire 
Will Mike Huckabee bypass New Hampshire this time? in the Union Leader: “That Huckabee question looms large as the GOP field expands and the former Arkansas governor is reported to be concentrating on the first caucuses in Iowa and the southern primaries in the weeks after New Hampshire’s leadoff contest.”

John Kasich “edges toward announcement” in the Concord Monitor: “Now, Kasich said in an interview with the Monitor, it’s no longer so much a matter of figuring out whether running for president is a calling. Kasich hasn’t had ‘any messages, emails, nothing like that’ from the Big Guy, he said – but he’s pretty much settled the earlier questions, ‘I’ve concluded that I need to keep moving forward on this.'”

Clinton campaign secures state headquarters in downtown Manchester on WMUR-TV: “The campaign has moved into a storefront office at 1361 Elm St., in the Bedford Block, with a grand opening planned shortly. State campaign director Mike Vlacichsaid satellite offices are on the way.”

Iowa

Carson offers something different to voters, but is it enough? in The Iowa Republican: “While [Ben] Carson didn’t do himself any favors by being absent from Iowa for the quarter of 2016, it may not have hurt his chances in Iowa. An hour before Carson’s campaign event was scheduled to begin, the 150 burgundy chairs set out in a large conference room at the Cedar Rapids Marriott were nearly full, and a line of people streamed out the door.”

Huckabee pumps up supporters at rally in the Des Moines Register: “The Urbandale rally was [Mike] Huckabee‘s third stop in Iowa on Wednesday. Earlier in the day he was in Oskaloosa where he stopped at a local coffee shop before going on a tour of Clow Valve Co., a 137-year-old manufacturing company that makes valves and hydrants. In between the stops he was interviewed by television, radio and print media.”

Poll: Hillary Clinton Dominates in Iowa, Bernie Sanders Second in Bloomberg Politics: “The former secretary of state is backed by 60 percent of likely Democratic caucus participants, a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday shows. Her nearest rival, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, is supported by 15 percent of those surveyed.”
South Carolina

Could Gov. Nikki Haley change GOP dynamic? on CBS News: “With the 2016 race heating up, presidential hopefuls are making their way to the pivotal state of South Carolina. Since 1980, all but one of the state’s primary winners went on to win the Republican nomination. That means backing from Gov. Nikki Haley could change the political dynamic, reports ‘CBS This Morning’ co-host Norah O’Donnell. Haley says she hasn’t decided just yet whether she’ll endorse a candidate before the primary, but she did last time.”

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