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Kimball Win Likely To Have Little Impact On Primary Kimball Win Likely To Have Little Impact On Primary

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Kimball Win Likely To Have Little Impact On Primary

"We've already influenced this race in a very dramatic way," the group's chairman, Andrew Hemingway, told the New Hampshire Union-Leader, before Saturday's vote.

Meanwhile, Kimball's victory may bring the Tea Party a newfound sense of organization in the state.

"Kimball's victory is kind of a signature in the sense that before it was this loose alliance of different groups," said Scala. "This is arguably their first big achievement in terms of getting together and getting someone elected to an office."

While Kimball's defeat of the establishment backed Bergeron is another impressive feat for the Tea Party, it is worth keeping in mind that he won among an extremely limited group of individuals totaling less than 500.

"I wouldn't read too much into the results of the chairman's race to see how the primary is going to go," said Ryan Williams, a former spokesperson with the state party. "The chairman's race was 400 or so activists and Jack was well known amongst them."

Williams announced he was leaving the party Monday morning and said he was planning to leave regardless of the outcome of the chairman's race.

There are other factors working against conservative presidential candidates in New Hampshire. Independents can participate in the GOP primary, and turnout is likely to be higher in 2012 primary than it was in 2010 because it's a presidential election. Higher turnout - and more independents -- tend to favor more moderate candidates.

Still, the optics of the recent success of the Tea Party in New Hampshire may entice more conservative presidential candidates to make a bigger play this cycle than they normally would in the traditionally independent state.

"Conservative Republicans running for the 2012 nomination may think they have more of a chance than they might have before now," Scala said. "So this would be a wake-up call of sorts."

Kimball's victory also came at the same meeting where former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R), who is not supported by Tea Party groups, won a presidential straw poll -- illustrating the difficulty of trying to make a blanket characterization of the political climate in the Granite State.

Cameron Joseph contributed to this post.

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