MANCHESTER, N.H. — Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush made a swing through the Granite State's largest city to find any last-minute undecided voters, and found a few amid a crush of reporters.
Stopping at an elementary school where Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie had already visited, Bush brought along his press-shy wife, Columba, whose hand he held tightly as they jumped over snow banks to greet supporters.
Greeting a high school student casting her ballot, he asked whether she wanted to tell the dozens of reporters surrounding him who she chose.
"Not every first-time voter gets to do that. And if you're not supporting me, don't tell them," he said. "But if you are really supporting me, you can just come out and say it."
"I'm just really excited to vote," is all she would say.
Approaching the Webster Elementary School, a woman approached hoping to share some good luck.
"Your father shook my hand and he won, your brother shook my hand and he won," she told him.
"Can I get a hug?" he asked.
"The great thing about being in New Hampshire is that you can basically change the course of the race by who you think is capable of being president," Bush told another woman, who told him she was still undecided — even as she was approaching the polling station. "And I believe I have a steady hand, I've got a backbone, and I've made tough decisions in my life. I have life experience that has had ups and downs like normal people, and you learn from the downs not the ups."
The 100th anniversary of New Hampshire Primary Day. #fitn #campaign2016 A photo posted by Ed O'Keefe (@edatpost) on
As they said goodbye, Bush asked reporters to get out of the woman's way so she could go vote.
The polling site, just a few blocks from downtown hotels where the world's media has gathered, drew a large collection of foreign and Spanish-language reporters, including some who asked Bush to answer questions in Spanish.
After about 15 minutes, he walked back toward his campaign bus. Had he done everything he could to win over voters?
"Not yet," he said. "We're going to go say hello to a few more people."