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Analysis: N.H. Is Critical For Romney08:00
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Now, it's official. Former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney kicked off his second run for the Republican presidential nomination Thursday, with an announcement in Stratham, N.H.

In 2008, Romney opened his campaign in Michigan. This time, he officially announced that he's running in New Hampshire. Many analysts say that's a strategy-shift for Romney and his team, reflecting the importance of the Granite State's early primary.

"He not only has to win New Hampshire, he has to win it impressively," Todd Domke, WBUR's Republican analyst, told Morning Edition's Bob Oakes. "Because he's expected to win."

After launching his exploratory committee in April, Romney has largely kept himself out of the spotlight.

"New Hampsherites don't want him to run and hide, he's got to prove that he's got some convictions other than wanting to be the CEO of the nation," Domke said.

Many analysts don't expect him to poll well in the Iowa caucuses, so New Hampshire may be especially important for Romney.

"Romney can't let Iowa dictate his future," said Dan Payne, WBUR's Democratic analyst. "He's probably going to do what McCain did and concentrate all of his resources on New Hampshire and other downrange primaries."

Romney will look for strong showings in New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina to boost his candidacy, Payne said.

This program aired on June 3, 2011.

Bob Oakes Twitter Host, Morning Edition
Bob Oakes has been WBUR's Morning Edition anchor since 1992.

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