Whither Ron Paul? After strong Iowa finish, Paul takes a campaign break

Following his third place finish in Iowa Texas Rep. Ron Paul delivered a rousing speech encouraging supporters to get "ready and raring" to go ahead of the New Hampshire primary. But with less than a week to go before the Jan. 10 balloting in the Granite State, Paul has gone completely off the radar.

Paul has held no public events since he made his caucus-night speech to supporters in Ankeny, Iowa. And he isn't scheduled to hold another event until a Friday 2 p.m. rally in Nashua, N.H.

Compare that to the punishing schedule of appearances in New Hampshire for Iowa's second-place finisher Rick Santorum. The former Pennsylvania senator has five events scheduled Thursday in New Hampshire, and six events Friday.

Paul's campaign didn't immediately respond to The Ticket's request for comment, but a spokesman told the Union Leader that Paul is taking a break "to spend a little time with his family before coming to New Hampshire to push through to the primary."

Paul received three local New Hampshire newspaper endorsements, his campaign announced Thursday: The Littleton Courier; the Berlin Reporter; and the Coos County Democrat.

Paul placed second in a Suffolk University Poll of likely primary voters released this week, putting him 26 points behind former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

Following Paul's scheduled Friday afternoon rally, the congressman holds an evening town hall meeting in Durham, participates in Saturday's ABC/Yahoo News debate, Sunday's NBC/Union Leader debate and holds one town hall Sunday afternoon.

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