Manchester, New Hampshire (CNN) - Jon Huntsman says he plans to skip a GOP debate in Iowa next week in a move that casts a positive light on the possibility that he likely would not have met the qualifications set by the event's hosts.
Instead of debating, Huntsman says he will host a town hall in the state of New Hampshire where he has been focusing his campaign's attention exclusively.
Next Saturday's debate, hosted by ABC News/Des Moines Register/Iowa GOP, required participants to earn 5% support in a national poll or Iowa polls by Monday. So far Huntsman's polling hasn't come close. He has not campaigned in Iowa.
In October, the former Utah governor skipped a CNN debate in Las Vegas, Nevada in protest of the state Republican party's decision to move up the date of Nevada's caucus. The move threatened New Hampshire's long-standing first-in-the-nation primary. The state party later moved back the date in response to pressure from national Republicans.
While the debate was being conducted in Nevada, Huntsman held another town hall in New Hampshire.