(CNN) – In Mitt Romney's case, it appears to be all about "location, location, location."
Aides to the former Massachusetts governor and 2008 Republican presidential candidate confirmed that Romney will formally declare his candidacy for White House next Thursday and he'll make his announcement in New Hampshire. The news appears to tell us a lot about Romney's strategy for his second bid for the GOP presidential nomination.
This will be the second time this spring Romney is using New Hampshire as a backdrop to make news. On April 11, Romney announced the formation of a presidential exploratory committee with a video he taped that day at the University of New Hampshire in Durham. The Granite State holds the first primary in the presidential primary and caucus calendar and is considered a must win contest for Romney.
"Republicans in the Granite State have been closely watching Gov. Romney for 10 years since he was elected in Massachusetts in 2002. He needs to win in a state where voters know him best," says Rich Galen, a Republican strategist who advised Fred Thompson during his 2008 GOP presidential bid, and who is the author of Mullings.com, an on-line column.
Romney is well known in New Hampshire. As Galen notes, Romney was governor of neighboring Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007, is seen often on TV in New Hampshire (much of the more populated southern part of the state is in the Boston media market), he has a vacation home in the state's 'lakes region' and he spent lots of time in the state in 2007 and 2008 in his first bid for the White House and last year as well, when he lent a helping hand to New Hampshire Republicans in the midterm election campaign.
The strong name recognition and his past efforts in the state are most likely one reason why Romney's far ahead of the rest of the field in a CNN/WMUR poll. The survey, conducted by the University of New Hampshire and released Monday, indicates that 33 percent of probable GOP primary voters in New Hampshire back Romney, with Rep. Ron Paul of Texas a distant second at nine percent.
"The shifting nature of the Republican field and a perception that the 'perfect candidate' candidate has not appeared, has led many New Hampshire Republicans to support the best known candidate, Mitt Romney," says Andrew Smith, Director of the UNH Survey Center. "Romney has been the clear favorite among New Hampshire Republicans for more than two years and no other candidate has persuaded voters to move away from Romney."
The poll also indicates that a desire by New Hampshire Republicans to pick someone who can beat President Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential election may be behind his poll numbers.
"Republicans are looking for someone who can take on President Obama, and right now, Romney is seen as the only Republican who can do that," adds Smith.
Romney on Friday makes his first visit to Iowa this cycle, with three stops across the state that kicks off the presidential primary and caucus calendar. And last weekend Romney made his first stop in South Carolina, the first southern state to vote in the road for the White House.
In his 2008 bid, Romney tried to be a player in Iowa and New Hampshire, but the strategy didn't succeed. He lost in Iowa to former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and to Sen. John McCain, the eventual nominee, in New Hampshire. This time around it seems Romney will be concentrating his firepower in the Granite State.
"New Hampshire will decide who is the anti-Sarah Palin, I.E., the real Republican nominee. Whoever wins New Hampshire and the money and momentum that comes with it, has the nomination in his hands, say Alex Castellanos, a Republican strategist and CNN contributor.
Castellanos was a top media adviser to the 2004 Bush-Cheney re-election campaign and to Romney's 2008 bid for the GOP presidential nomination, but has not taken sides in this cycle.
Palin, the former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, is increasingly sending signals that she might be interested in launching a bid for the White House.
–Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn