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By David Lightman, McClatchy Washington Bureau (TNS)

Jeb Bush’s supporters aren’t visible in New Hampshire.

Veteran New Hampshire journalist John DiStaso wrote in the NH Journal that “so far there is no evidence of any spontaneous activity on the former Florida governor’s behalf here.”

Bush, the former Florida governor, said last week he is actively exploring a run. His brother and father ran in previous New Hampshire presidential primaries, and the family has roots in nearby Maine. The state traditionally holds the nation’s first presidential primary.

DiStaso saw little activity so far. “One might expect, behind the scenes, phones to be buzzing and discussions and possibly even meetings taking place to look ahead to the early part of next year, when Bush ramps up an organization.

“Obviously, Bush’s virtual entry into presidential contention hasn’t frightened anyone out at this point. But it does have observers here wondering if his move may be having the opposite effect — that is, prompting fledgling campaigns to bump up their organizing schedules.”

He also found conservative and libertarian Republicans showing “less enthusiasm” that establishment types.

“‘It bores me to tears to think that we might have another Clinton-Bush matchup.”‘ DiStaso quoted one activist as saying.

He also found “There’s also some tiring on the right about the penchant in the establishment GOP to promote the ‘next in line.’ And while there is no clear ‘next in line’ in this field, Bush is the closest, unless, of course, Mitt Romney gets involved, which, at this point, is highly unlikely.”

A New England College poll released last month found Bush leading the Republican field with 17.3 percent. Next were New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, 14.7 percent and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) at 10.4 percent.

AFP Photo/Saul Loeb

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