Rubio Stakes Ground in New Hampshire

Just two weeks after Marco Rubio declared to his staff that they should proceed as though he is running for president, the Florida Senator has secured a key political asset in New Hampshire.

Jim Merrell, who ran the New Hampshire operation for Mitt Romney both in 2008 and 2012, joined Rubio’s Reclaiming America PAC on Monday which lent further evidence to the argument that Rubio is taking his White House prospects seriously.

In the polls to-date, Rubio has not faired well among the dozen or more presumed Republican presidential candidates, with his most recent showing both in national polls and in New Hampshire at single digits putting him in the middle of the pack.

Rubio’s challenge in the coming primary fight is daunting. With fellow Floridian Jeb Bush sucking the wind from his home-state sails, the pressure mounts for him to perform well enough in the other early primary states to remain viable into the Super Tuesday primaries.

Many analysts expect that after the dust settles from the first-in-the-nation contests (IA, NH, SC, FL, NV), perhaps as few as four candidates will remain.