MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) _ Republican presidential aspirant Pete du Pont is betting about $400,000 that an early wave of television commercials will boost his name recognition among voters in the state with the earliest primary.

''It's a good time to get a message across because the air waves aren't swamped with political messages,'' Robert Perkins, du Pont's deputy campaign manager, said Monday.

Du Pont, the first candidate to air television commercials in New Hampshire during this presidential election, hopes images of a mournful scarecrow, a disappearing living room and a teen-ager snorting cocaine will imbed his name in the minds of voters.

The five 30-second commericals highlight du Pont's pet issues - farm subsidies, welfare, Social Security and drug abuse.

The ads, which began airing Monday night, do not mention his six years as a congressman, eight years as governor of Delaware or any connection to the industrial empire built by his family.

''This election will not be determined by who has the best resume,'' Perkins said. ''People don't vote for someone because they've been a CIA chief or a senator or governor.''

Former Arizona Gov. Bruce Babbitt during May and June aired commercials in Iowa to boost name recognition among Democrats, and Rep. Jack Kemp, R-N.Y., is currently running one commercial on Cable News Network supporting U.S. Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork. But du Pont is the only candidate to air commercials aimed at New Hampshire voters.

''We're alone in the field and I think that will help people remember Pete du Pont,'' Perkins said.