At a rally in Milford Tuesday night, Donald Trump said he was fine with finishing second in the Iowa caucus, and that second would be a fine result for New Hampshire, too.
But Trump's local supporters remain bullish on his chances to win here.
You scarcely needed to put the question to attendees at Donald Trump’s first post-Iowa campaign event; all you had to do was look at the long line than snaked through the parking lot of the Hampshire Hills Athletic club to know that for Trump’s local backers, his loss in Iowa is no deal breaker.
"Iowa is only one state. The Donald will come though," says Jim Breive of Hudson, who works for an HVDC company.
"Now his momentum is going to pick up. He’s going to win New Hampshire and keep going," says Karen Lundsteadt, a nurse from Mason.
The candidate himself told reporters he likes his chances here, too, but Trump also noted he could live with another second place.
"It wouldn’t be horrible. It wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. I can think of worse things, but I would like to finish first."
Trump’s tone in front of the crowd was less muted. He ridiculed familiar targets: his GOP rivals.
"So Jeb Bush must have spent $3,000 per vote; that’s got to be a record. Will you check the Guinness book of records? You have others with tremendous numbers, Marco spent a lot, almost $300 a vote, but at least he had a pretty good result – he came in third. No, no he had a fantastic result, unbelievable, he came in third..
Trump also attacked the press: “The worst people ever.”
Meanwhile, he heaped praise on well-known people who have praised him, some whom some of whom were in the room:
“Scott Brown, for him to come up and call and say I love what you are doing, I love where you going, for him to endorse me is a very important thing. So, wherever the hell Scott is.”
And some who weren’t: “And who else do we love? We love Tom Brady. We love Tom Brady.”
The New York businessman also repeatedly asked voters to envision him as commander in chief.
“Wouldn’t you rather to have Trump as president if we were attacked? We will beat the **** out of them if somebody attacks us.”
For any of that to take place, Trump will need to win some primaries. After his visit to Milford, the real estate mogul was heading to Arkansas – a long scheduled trip – he told reporters. After that, he said he’d be spending a lot of time back here.