LANCASTER, N.H. — Walt Havenstein is one of the most popular candidates in the country -- just not with voters in his home state.

But even as he's consistently trailed incumbent New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) by double digits, big names in his own party can't be seen with him often enough: his campaign has featured regular trail appearances by a series of nationally prominent Republicans, including Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana and Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey — who has visited New Hampshire four times this year.

For most of them, Election Day 2014 won't mark their last visit to the Granite State. New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation primary status seems to have been a boon to both underdog Senate candidate Scott Brown and Havenstein, who has regularly stumped with leading 2016 hopefuls even as his campaign has trailed by 10-20 points or more this year.

Havenstein himself says there is "no secret” to bringing such heavyweights to New Hampshire. “To a certain degree it’s about me but it’s also about what they see as they important for the state of New Hampshire — and I’m grateful for all the support I’ve got,” he said Friday, as he appeared with Christie at a Veterans of Foreign Wars post.

Christie, who's been criss-crossing the nation stumping for GOP governors as head of the Republican Governors Association this year, dismissed any suggestion his New Hampshire visits represented any sort of attempt to raise his profile there ahead of 2016 bid.

“The reason I’m campaigning for Walt is that I think he has a great chance to win — and he’s a great candidate. There’s other good candidates, [but] I’m not going to be able to campaign for them because there’s only 24 hours in a day and 25 days yet,” the New Jersey governor told reporters after Friday's event, just before heading out to purchase a bottle of maple syrup with Havenstein.

Christie also said he will return to New Hampshire “definitely at least once” before Election Day -- and said he was looking to return after Nov. 4.

“I’m going to hope to come up here to work with the governor-elect and getting his government together and giving the best advice I can,” he said.

“Beyond that, who knows? It’s a beautiful place.”