Jan 17, 2016 2:42 PM

Cruz takes aim at New Hampshire voters for upcoming tour

The Associated Press

MANCHESTER — Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz is courting religious and social conservatives and pro-gun libertarians in New Hampshire, hoping they'll give him a stronger-than-expected finish in next month's primary.

He returns to the state on Sunday to start a five-day, 17-stop bus tour.

The freshman senator fills his trademark anti-establishment approach with quotes from Scripture and support from evangelical leaders. The pitch thus far has served him well in Iowa, where he's locked in a narrow race with Donald Trump ahead of the Feb. 1 caucus.

Backers of the first-term Texas senator say his message can consolidate enough conservative support to do well in New Hampshire, as well.

As Trump leads his rivals in state polls, the rest of the GOP field is scuffling for whatever electorate remains.

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