A dark-horse candidate is surging to a strong finish in New Hampshire

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NBC News: John Kasich Takes 2nd in NH

Republican presidential candidate and Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) performed better than expected in the New Hampshire primary Tuesday.

With about one-quarter of precincts reporting, Kasich is standing in second place behind declared primary winner Donald Trump. He had about 15% of the vote.

Fox News, NBC, and ABC have all projected that Kasich will finish in second.

See photos of Kasich through the years:

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A dark-horse candidate is surging to a strong finish in New Hampshire
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 19: Ohio Governor John Kasich speaks during the 'Road to Majority' conference June 19, 2015 in Washington, DC. Conservatives gathered at the annual event held by the Faith & Freedom Coalition and Concerned Women for America held the annual event to discuss politics. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 19: Ohio Governor John Kasich speaks during the 'Road to Majority' conference June 19, 2015 in Washington, DC. Conservatives gathered at the annual event held by the Faith & Freedom Coalition and Concerned Women for America held the annual event to discuss politics. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JUNE 19- Republican presidential candidate, Ohio Gov. John Kasich speaks during the Faith & Freedom Coalitions Road to Majority conference which featured speeches by conservative politicians at the Washington D.C. Omni Shoreham Hotel, June 19, 2015.(Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)
NASHUA, NH - APRIL 18: Ohio Gov. John Kasich speaks at the First in the Nation Republican Leadership Summit April 18, 2015 in Nashua, New Hampshire. The Summit brought together local and national Republicans and was attended by all the Republicans candidates as well as those eyeing a run for the nomination. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 03: Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) talks with the press after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's address to a joint meeting of Congress in the House chamber, March 3, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
US Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (2nd L) waves alongside Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman (L) and Ohio Governor John Kasich (R) during a campaign stop at Tom's Ice Cream Bowl in Zanesville, Ohio, on August 14, 2012. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages)
Gov. John Kasich of Ohio speaks at the second day of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, Tuesday, August 28, 2012. (Harry Walker/MCT via Getty Images)
MEET THE PRESS -- Pictured: (l-r) – Gov. Deval Patrick (D-MA) left, and Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) right, appear on 'Meet the Press' in Washington D.C., Sunday, June 3, 2012. (Photo by: William B. Plowman/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - MARCH 31: At the ornate Ohio State House, Ohio Governor John Kasich signs the newly passed Senate Bill 5, which limits collective bargaining for state workers in Ohio, in Columbus, Ohio, Thursday, March 31, 2011. Newly elected republican Ohio Governor John Kasich is working toward to balancing an Ohio budget in deficit through a budget proposal with extensive budget cuts, spending reform, and changes in labor laws, including restrictions on collective bargaining. (Photo by Melina Mara/ The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Ohio Governor-elect John Kasich talks to reporters after meeting with House Speaker-designate John Boehner (R-Ohio), right, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), left, and other GOP Governors-elect at the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, December 1, 2010. (Photo by Mary F. Calvert/MCT/MCT via Getty Images)
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The Ohio governor, a moderate outsider who has been competing with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida), and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) for one of the runner-up finishes, finished eighth at the Iowa caucuses with 1.9% of the vote. But his campaign invested significant resources in New Hampshire.

"Governor Kasich is now the leading governor in the race and the only one with a realistic chance at the nomination," senior Kasich campaign strategist John Weaver said in a statement. "He showed that a conservative with a positive message will succeed and, in fact, that's the only way for Republicans to win the White House. As the governor of Ohio he knows how to do it."

And Kasich campaigned hard in the Granite State. He made the most appearances in the state out of any Republican candidate, The New York Times noted this week.

It's unclear, however, whether the New Hampshire success will mean much for Kasich in the long term.

As The Times pointed out: "Though a number of past presidential nominees have gained momentum from a strong showing in New Hampshire — among them, Ronald Reagan in 1980, George Bush in 1988, McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012 — all had a national organization far superior to those of Kasich and Christie."

RELATED: New Hampshire residents turn out to vote in nation's 1st primary

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New Hampshire residents vote in first primary election 2/9
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A dark-horse candidate is surging to a strong finish in New Hampshire
MANCHESTER, NH - FEBRUARY 09: Activist and Ted Cruz supporter Lynda Farley of Edmonton, KY, talks to members of the press outside of the Red Arrow Diner as Cruz campaigns inside on February 9, 2016 in Manchester, New Hampshire. Voters throughout the state are heading to the polls as the New Hampshire Primary, also known as the first-in-the-nation primary, continues the process of selecting the next president of the United States. (Photo by Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images)
NASHUA, NH - FEBRUARY 09: Democratic presidential candidate former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton greets voters outside of a polling station at Fairgrounds Junior High School on February 9, 2016 in Nashua, New Hampshire. New Hampshire voters are heading to the polls in the nation's first primaries. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, NH - FEBRUARY 09: Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush thanks his supporters outside the polling place at Webster School on primary day February 9, 2016 in Manchester, New Hampshire. Candidates from both parties are making last-minute attempts to swing voters to their side on the day of the 'First in the Nation' presidential primary. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, NH - FEBRUARY 09: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump greets people as he visits a polling station as voters cast their primary day ballots on February 9, 2016 in Manchester, New Hampshire. The process to select the next Democratic and Republican Presidential candidates continues. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, NH - FEBRUARY 09: Supporters of many of the presidential candidates hold signs outside the polling place at the Webster School February 9, 2016 in Manchester, New Hampshire. Tuesday is the 100th anniversary of the New Hampshire primariy, the 'First in the Nation' test for presidential candidates from both parties. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, NH - FEBRUARY 9: Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina campaigns at Chez Vachon on February 9, 2016 in Manchester, New Hampshire. Candidates are in a final campaign push for votes on the 'First in the Nation' presidential primary day. (Photo by Kayana Szymczak/Getty Images)
Voters arrive to cast their ballots in the first-in-the-nation New Hampshire presidential primary at the Chichester Town Hall in Chichester, New Hampshire, U.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. Polls suggest that Republican Donald Trump maintains a dominant lead against his rivals in New Hampshire ahead of todays primary. Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images
MANCHESTER, NH - FEBRUARY 09: Republican presidential candidate Ohio Governor John Kasich delivers a meal to patrons at the Red arrow Diner on February 9, 2016 in Manchester, New Hampshire. Today New Hampshire voters will decide between Republican and Democratic nominees for the presidency. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
BOW, NH - FEBRUARY 09: Candidate signs are displayed in front of a middle school serving as a voting station on the day of the New Hampshire Primary on February 9, 2016 in Bow, New Hampshire. After months of campaigning, voters across New Hampshire get to go to the polls today to vote for Democratic and Republican presidential candidates. Following New Hampshire, the race for the presidency moves to South Carolina. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, NH - FEBRUARY 09: Supporters of many of the presidential candidates hold signs outside the polling place at the Webster School February 9, 2016 in Manchester, New Hampshire. Tuesday is the 100th anniversary of the New Hampshire primarythe 'First in the Nation' test for presidential candidates from both parties. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)
An election worker hands out stickers to voters afer casting their ballots at Belmont High School February 9, 2016 in Belmont, New Hampshire. / AFP / Don EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, NH - FEBRUARY 09: Republican presidential candidate New Jersey Governor Chris Christie exits his SUV outside the polling place at Webster School February 9, 2016 in Manchester, New Hampshire. Candidates from both parties are making last-minute attempts to swing voters to their side on the day of the 'First in the Nation' presidential primary. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)
BOW, NH - FEBRUARY 09: People vote inside of a middle school serving as a voting station on the day of the New Hampshire Primary on February 9, 2016 in Bow, New Hampshire. After months of campaigning, voters across New Hampshire get to go to the polls today to vote for Democratic and Republican presidential candidates. Following New Hampshire, the race for the presidency moves to South Carolina. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, NH - FEBRUARY 09: Republican presidential candidate Ohio Governor John Kasich shakes hands with supporters outside Manchester High School, a voting location for the New Hampshire state primary, on February 9, 2016 in Manchester, New Hampshire. Today New Hampshire voters will decide between Republican and Democratic nominees for the presidency. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, NH - FEBRUARY 09: A man shovles in front of supporters of many of the presidential candidates holding signs outside the polling place at the Webster School February 9, 2016 in Manchester, New Hampshire. Tuesday is the 100th anniversary of the New Hampshire primarythe 'First in the Nation' test for presidential candidates from both parties. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, NH - FEBRUARY 09: Voters head to the polling booths inside the Webster School gymnasium February 9, 2016 in Manchester, New Hampshire. Tuesday is the 100th anniversary of the New Hampshire primarythe 'First in the Nation' test for presidential candidates from both parties. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)
An electoral official prepares 'I Voted' stickers as local residents vote for the first US presidential primary at a fire station in Loudon, New Hampshire, on February 9, 2016. New Hampshire began voting on February 9 in the first US presidential primary with Republican Donald Trump calling on supporters to propel him to victory and Democrat Bernie Sanders primed to upstage Hillary Clinton. The northeastern state, home to just 1.3 million people, sets the tone for the primaries and could shake out a crowded Republican field of candidates pitting Trump and arch-conservative Senator Ted Cruz against more establishment candidates led by Senator Marco Rubio. / AFP / JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, NH - FEBRUARY 09: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) boards his campaign bus after stopping to thank supporters outside the polling place outside Webster School February 9, 2016 in Manchester, New Hampshire. With a good showing in the Iowa caucuses, Rubio has stepped into the crosshairs of fellow Republicans running for president and super PACs that want to slow his momentum with attacks on what they call his robotic and repetative messaging. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
A voter shows her identification as she prepares to vote at Belmont High School February 9, 2016 in Belmont, New Hampshire. Voting began in New Hampshire on February 9 in the first US presidential primary, where Donald Trump leads the packed Republican field and Bernie Sanders was polling ahead of Hillary Clinton. Despite its small size New Hampshire's spot on the electoral calendar gives it special importance in the long state-by-state battle to select the Republican and Democratic candidates who will go head to head for the White House. / AFP / Don EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
Local residents line up at a fire station to vote for the first US presidential primary in Loudon, New Hampshire, on February 9, 2016. New Hampshire began voting on February 9 in the first US presidential primary with Republican Donald Trump calling on supporters to propel him to victory and Democrat Bernie Sanders primed to upstage Hillary Clinton. The northeastern state, home to just 1.3 million people, sets the tone for the primaries and could shake out a crowded Republican field of candidates pitting Trump and arch-conservative Senator Ted Cruz against more establishment candidates led by Senator Marco Rubio. / AFP / JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
CORRECTION - A supporter of US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton adjusts a campaign poster outside the town hall as local residents vote for the first US presidential primary in Canterbury, New Hampshire, on February 9, 2016. New Hampshire began voting on February 9 in the first US presidential primary with Republican Donald Trump calling on supporters to propel him to victory and Democrat Bernie Sanders primed to upstage Hillary Clinton. The northeastern state, home to just 1.3 million people, sets the tone for the primaries and could shake out a crowded Republican field of candidates pitting Trump and arch-conservative Senator Ted Cruz against more establishment candidates led by Senator Marco Rubio. / AFP / Jewel Samad / The erroneous mention[s] appearing in the metadata of this photo by Jewel Samad has been modified in AFP systems in the following manner: Democratic instead of Republican. Please immediately remove the erroneous mention[s] from all your online services and delete it (them) from your servers. If you have been authorized by AFP to distribute it (them) to third parties, please ensure that the same actions are carried out by them. Failure to promptly comply with these instructions will entail liability on your part for any continued or post notification usage. Therefore we thank you very much for all your attention and prompt action. We are sorry for the inconvenience this notification may cause and remain at your disposal for any further information you may require. (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, NH - FEBRUARY 09: A man attempts to make a selfie with Republican presidential candidate New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (back to camera) as he greets supporters outside the polling place at Webster School February 9, 2016 in Manchester, New Hampshire. Candidates from both parties are making last-minute attempts to swing voters to their side on the day of the 'First in the Nation' presidential primary. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, NH - FEBRUARY 9: Voters cast their ballots at the Bishop Leo E. O'Neil Youth Center February 9, 2016 in Manchester, New Hampshire. Today New Hampshire voters go to the polls in the first-in-the-nation primary that begins the long election season. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, NH - FEBRUARY 09: A sign for Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson in the snow outside the polling place at the Webster School February 9, 2016 in Manchester, New Hampshire. Tuesday is the 100th anniversary of the New Hampshire primarythe 'First in the Nation' test for presidential candidates from both parties. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, NH - FEBRUARY 09: Democratic presidential candidate former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton greets voters outside of a polling station at Parker Varney School on February 9, 2016 in Manchester, New Hampshire. New Hampshire voters are heading to the polls in the nation's first primaries. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Residents walk in the snow after casting their votes in the New Hampshire presidential primary election at the town hall polling site in Harts Location, New Hampshire, U.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. According to the New Hampshire Secretary of State's office, the state has 383,834 voters who haven't declared a party affiliation, compared to 260,896 registered Republicans and 229,202 Democrats. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
An election official places a resident's Republican ballot into a ballot box at the town hall polling site during the New Hampshire presidential primary election in Harts Location, New Hampshire, U.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. According to the New Hampshire Secretary of State's office, the state has 383,834 voters who haven't declared a party affiliation, compared to 260,896 registered Republicans and 229,202 Democrats. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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