Chip Saltsman, who made the same decision to compete in New Hampshire after a surprise Iowa showing while managing Mike Huckabee’s 2008 campaign, said in hindsight that was a mistake.

“We spent precious time and resources in New Hampshire and Michigan and not in South Carolina,” Saltsman said. “And doing it all over again, would I have put more time and resources in South Carolina to win? You bet.”…

Santorum, however, has one persuasive reason to try to compete in New Hampshire: Unlike Huckabee four years ago, a key part of Santorum’s political identity is his history of winning elections in the Northeast, which includes much of the nation’s toughest turf for social conservatives…

“Who’s won a state like Pennsylvania?” Santorum said after a town hall meeting here Thursday. “Me! Twice. Mitt Romney’s never won a state, ever, as a conservative. Newt Gingrich has never won a Democratic district or a Democratic state as a conservative.”