Washington (CNN) - Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman on Tuesday confirmed what has become an open secret in Republican circles: that his campaign is pinning its hopes on a strong showing in the crucial early primary state of New Hampshire.
Huntsman made the comments after being asked during an appearance on MSNBC whether he would dip into his personal fortune again to fund his campaign operation.
"I don't anticipate doing that. We're going to focus singularly on New Hampshire," Huntsman said. "That is not an overly expensive market. That is a market where the old Adlai Stevenson shoe leather is important. I know how to work that market. The early signs are that we're connecting with the people. They like the message."
Huntsman added, "It's got to be about vision. At the end of the day you've got to have substance, real plans, a worldview. The people in New Hampshire get that and are responding to it."
The comments come days after two New Hampshire polls showed Huntsman climbing into double digits there, though he still badly trails former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the Granite State frontrunner.
Huntsman and his team have said from the outset of his campaign last spring that his path to the Republican nomination runs through New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida.
Of late, though, Huntsman has largely avoided campaigning in South Carolina and Florida, opting to camp out in New Hampshire and embrace the state's retail-style politics.
Tim Miller, a spokesman for Huntsman, said the campaign is not abandoning the other states.
"New Hampshire is our singular focus because in order to compete successfully in South Carolina and Florida – as we plan to – it is vital we come out of New Hampshire with a head of steam," Miller said in an email.