January 11, 2012
It's Mitt Romney in a walk in the 2012 New Hampshire Primary. Romney got just under 40% of the vote with Ron Paul finishing second at 23% and Jon Huntsman third at 17%.
Major broadcast networks declared Romney the winner as soon as all polls closed at 8 p.m.
But will Romney's margin of victory be viewed as wide enough to portray him as a clear, strong front-runner?
It appeared that the answer is yes.
As returns poured in, Romney had 39 percent of the vote with nearly 90 percent of the voting precincts reporting.
A battle for second place was expected, with Huntsman riding a late mini-surge to battle Paul.
But Paul was at 23 percent and Huntsman at 17 percent, while former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum split the hard-line conservative vote, with 9 percent each.
I'd have to say this makes Romney the prohibitive favorite going forwards. His most serious remaining obstacle is the $2.3 million negative ad campaign that Newt Gingrich supporters have recently launched in South Carolina.
A super PAC supporting Mr. Gingrich will start running anti-Romney ads this week, painting him as a businessman who sought to enrich himself by buying companies, closing them down and leaving people out of work.
We'll see how that plays out. It didn't help Gingrich here in New Hampshire.
Posted by Tom Bowler at 06:34 AM | Permalink
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Congratulations Tom. For once, you and Axelrod's media friends are agreed on a desired Republican candidate. I'll stick with Newt a while longer. Then I guess I'll be joining you when the smoke finally clears, say after Florida. Whenever, whoever we'll both be enthusiastic in our support of the same candidate in November.
Posted by: PJ Smith | Jan 11, 2012 10:04:47 AM
Thanks PJ. I think Axelrod and his media friends would really prefer Newt, but that's neither here nor there. Bottom line - it's as you say. We'll both enthusiastically support the candidate who emerges to face Obama in the general election, and we are not alone in sharing that sentiment.
I will say this, though. I think Gingrich, Huntsman, and Perry will find that their anti-capitalist attacks have disqualified them. That leaves Ron Paul as the only "not Romney" left, and although he gets a lot of support, nobody sees him winning the White House. That ability to win is fast becoming the most important qualification a candidate can have, and so far Romney has been able to demonstrate that he has it.
Posted by: Tom Bowler | Jan 11, 2012 10:30:23 AM