What a candidate can't do is suddenly decide to run for president a year before the primary without having done any spade work and expect strong results.
"You can't do it in 12 months," said New Hampshire Republican Party Chair Jennifer Horn, who noted that a campaign needs to begin sooner rather than later. And when the candidates arrive Horn said, "The issues that push New Hampshire voters are jobs, the economy, and individual freedoms."
While social conservatives play an influential role in the Iowa and South Carolina primaries, New Hampshire Republicans tend to be more focused on economic issues, which could provide a springboard for more a centrist Republican eyeing the White House -- someone like Christie.
"New Hampshire voters focus on the issues that directly affect them, primarily the economy," said Alicia Preston, a Republican consultant based in Hampton Beach. "Social issues tend to be second-tier for most New Hampshire voters and they are willing to accept a social moderate as long as they have a fiscal conservative badge."
If there is a contested primary-within-a-primary among social conservative candidates who spend their time, money and effort attacking one another in Iowa and South Carolina, that could further add to the already outsized influence New Hampshire has on the process of choosing the GOP nominee.
The winner of the New Hampshire primary might not suffer the same political wounds as the candidates who battled for support in the Iowa caucuses and prepared for, perhaps, a last stand in South Carolina.
Still, as early GOP maneuvering is on full public display, Democrats are largely in a holding pattern waiting to see if the 800-pound donkey in the room makes a move: former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
It's Clinton's for the having -- at least that's the conventional wisdom at this point -- if she wants the Democratic presidential nomination.
Should Clinton decide not to run, then Vice President Joe Biden rolling out the red carpet for Iowa and New Hampshire Democrats during the inauguration and Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley inviting New Hampshire Democrats down for a St. Patrick's Day party at the governor's residence will surely be remembered by those who hold an incredible amount of influence in choosing presidents.