Texas Sen. Ted Cruz squeezed through a tunnel of supporters and reporters to sign the paperwork making his primary candidacy official in New Hampshire.
"Y'all treat politics like we treat football in Texas," Cruz said.
Polls show Cruz, a graduate of Princeton and Harvard Law, in the middle of the Republican pack in New Hampshire. But his numbers have been taking upwards and there are other signs of strength and his campaign.
"After every debate, what we're saying is steadily increasing momentum," he said.
Cruz has more cash on hand - $13.8 million - than any other Republican in the race, and he has proven to be one of the most adapt on the debate stage.
"I am the only candidate running who has been a consistent conservative - who has been a fiscal conservative, a social conservative, a national security conservative - and we are seeing this in the debates," Cruz said.
But those conservative credentials, which serve him well in his home state of Texas, don't play as well and the more moderate New Hampshire.
Still, Cruz is confident he can attract New Hampshire voters, including away from his closest opponent, Marco Rubio, by proving he is more conservative on issues like immigration. Cruz says he is the only candidate who has never supported amnesty.
"If Republicans end up joining arm and arm with the Democrats in supporting amnesty so that there's no difference between us? We will we will lose in 2016," he said.
Rubio, campaigning in South Carolina, pushed back on Cruz's claims.
"I don't think it's reasonable to say you're going to round up and deport 11 million people - I've said that in the past - but we're going to enforce our immigration laws," said Rubio. "Ted is a supporter of legalizing people that are in this country illegally."
It's an issue on which Rubio and Cruz will continue to battle, as Rubio promotes his ability to bridge moderates and conservatives and Cruz stakes out the most conservative platform.
"The Live Free or Die state is not going to roll over and let our liberties be taken away by an out-of-control Washington," he said.
The best news for Cruz these days comes from Iowa, where the latest poll shows he's in third place behind Trump and Carson. A win for Cruz in Iowa could help sway many undecided voters just a week later in New Hampshire.