Mitt Glides to Victory in New Hampshire

Rick Moran is blog editor of The American Thinker, and Chicago editor of PJ Media.His personal blog is Right Wing Nuthouse.

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New Hampshire has a tradition of upsetting the experts and giving the underdog a surprising victory in their traditional first-in-the-nation primary.

Not this time.

As expected, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney cruised to an easy victory on Tuesday night. Ron Paul finished a strong second and Jon Huntsman came in third. Romney, who has a summer home in the Granite State and has excellent name recognition as a result of his tenure as governor of next-door Massachusetts, ran well in all areas of the state — urban, suburban, and rural — while convincing the voters that he was the most electable of all the GOP candidates.

Romney became the first Republican candidate to win both Iowa and New Hampshire since 1976 when Gerald Ford turned the trick.

With most of the polls reporting, Romney would appear to have garnered about 39% of the vote, Ron Paul around 24% and Huntsman 17%. Romney was hoping to top 40%, which was where he had been polling the last week, but he emerges relatively unscathed despite some atypical gaffes in the last few days and a searing series of attacks by his GOP opponents.

The fight for second was the only significant question to answer at the end of the evening, with Huntsman surging from single digits in the polls just a few weeks ago and Ron Paul gaining momentum as well, attracting independents and Democrats who are allowed to vote in New Hampshire’s semi-open primary. Both candidates have announced they will go on to South Carolina for that primary on January 21.

Romney’s victory speech — given just a half an hour after the polls closed and in the coveted 8:00 PM hour on the east coast — delivered a withering blast at President Obama, as well as some harsh words about the line of attack that several of his GOP competitors chose to initiate. Criticism by Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry and other GOP candidates of Romney’s stewardship of his investment firm, Bain Capital, had many in the party crying foul and wondering whether the “desperate Republicans” as Romney called them, might be handing ammunition to Obama and the Democrats to use in the fall campaign.

But Romney saved his most potent barbs for the president. “We know that the future of this country is better than 8 percent or 9 percent unemployment. It is better than $15 trillion in debt. It is better than the misguided policies and broken promises of the last three years – and the failed leadership of one man,” Romney said.

Recent polls show Romney with the best chance to defeat the president in November, and he is virtually tied with Obama as he consolidates his support in the Republican Party. Last month, according to a Reuters poll, only 18% of Republicans said they would vote for him in November. That number climbed to 30%  following his slim victory in Iowa last week. He still trails the president in the Reuters poll by 48%-43%, with the RealClear Politics average giving Obama a slight edge. And a Gallup poll out this week shows that the former Massachusetts governor would be acceptable to 60% of conservatives — a number that is almost certain to climb if Romney continues to win primaries.

Meanwhile, Ron Paul claimed he was “nibbling” at Romney’s heels and that his second place finish was proof that he had momentum going into South Carolina and beyond. The Texas congressman’s strong second place showing was a mild surprise, as he clearly outperformed expectations given that pre-primary polls showed him with less than 20% of the vote.

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  • Alexander Gofen

    "Romney saved his most potent barbs for the (p)resident" sounds as a joke! Romney uttered not a word about the just signed de-facto amnesty for 215000 El-Salvadoran illegals under a grotesque pretext of an earthquake in El-Salvador in … 2007.

    Romney had nothing to say about the "New Year eve gift" of the impostor to Americans – the bill authorizing indefinite detention of American citizens without a due process on American soil.

    And indeed, nobody of the crooks has touched the real killer – "The Taboo".

    All these front running crooks and eunuchs play the script in which they are NOT designated to defeat Obama/Soetoro at all. In spite of being in a position to checkmate the opponent in one move, these crooks on the contrary: carefully evade the checkmating! Occasionally they may take a peon to imitate some fight, but no checkmate, never – as it was settled already in 2007-2008! Without any decency, they are going to play a kiddish game until the King is actually taken: by others

    • InRussetShadows

      Yes, yes, yes! It's all a big, giant conspiracy, I tell you. We all know that people enter a race NOT to win it, but to play the part of some elaborate faker. After all, that's how you live your life, right? I mean, you put yourself though heck and high water because you got a call from the secret people at 3 AM, right? Election season always brings out the nuts. I wish they would extend their hibernation cycle to eight years instead of settling for four.

      • Alexander Gofen

        I hear your sarcasm Re. 3 a.m. calls, yet it is you who resorts to "conspiracy" terminology. For me, on the contrary, it is obvious that the treason is being committed in full light of the day with all microphones On.

        I do not know what turned a former hero and martyr (of Hanoi Hilton) McShaim together with his Alaska's diva Palin into cheap collaborators of Alinsky in 2008.

        I do not know what turned a former military hero Col. Alan West into a congressional eunuch faster than he reached his sit. (Col. Alan West had never uttered a word about Lt. Col. Lakin!)

        Blame them (not me!) for the so called 8-year cycle – something perhaps settled on by the "two-party" clan decades ago.

    • Asher

      Its anybodies guess if Romney will have the Stuff to defeat Obama…..Obama is very unpopular in all sectors of the public…..but you gotta wonder if they, (The Left) will use Mitts Waffling on many subjects to defeat him. Romney is right though when he says, "The President tells America Every day, It could be alot worse." Yeh, if hes given 4 more years it will be alot Worse.

  • Flipside

    “The Texas congressman’s strong second place showing was a mild surprise.”

    You are a liar.

    • InRussetShadows

      What, haven't you had your pot hit this morning? Temper, temper, dearest. Now go take your drugs like a good Paulbot and get back to us when you feel more chipper. Now there's a dear.

      • Flipside

        Go hide behind your potato.

    • ObamaYoMoma

      Dream on! There aren't enough unhinged Jew haters and Israel bashers in the country to ever elect that loon Ron Paul.

      • Flipside

        I just realized you are Jim Hoft, the Gateway

    • Rick Moran

      The day before the primary he was polling at 19%. He finished with 22.8%.

      Four points is a "mild surprise" in my universe. Can't say for sure what it might be in the cuckoo land you inhabit.

      • Flipside

        How about the one where Paul was leading Iowa, came in an easy second in NH and is now knocking all the non-constitutionalists out of the race on a platform of hard work, fiscal responsibility an ending corruption? Hey, if you can’t handle it, go team up with Dana Bash on CNN. You can all pee yourselves in mock surprise now that Paul is no longer easy to shun.

        • Rick Moran

          The day before the primary he was polling at 19%. He finished with 22.8%.

          I learned long ago not to argue with nitwits who refuse to engage on point, You called me a liar for saying Paul's finish was a "mild surprise." I gave evidence that I was correct. Now you go all loony tunes and change the subject into something so totally off the wall that the rest of us ask not whether your dosage should be upped but by how much.

          Paul has never been easy to shun. He whines too much for that to occur. And his balmy supporters won't let that happen either.

          • Flipside

            You’re behind the times. Ron Paul is not an unperson anymore. So stop trying to manufacture a Romney consent. 75% of Republicans and 100% of Democrats don’t want him.

  • InRussetShadows

    Some important points: the primary was semi-open (which means that it was not closed). Paul scored big with registered non-Republicans. The writer writes for PJ Media, known homosexual advocates (i.e. non-conservatives). So what does this article mean? Not much, really. I'm surprised it was published at FrontPage. Is Horowitz hard up for cash? C'mon, man. You're losing your credibility running soppy Romney love pieces like this one. And finally, if Dems worry that Obama has destroyed the party (if they had much of one to begin with), and if people were concerned that Bush was not conservative enough, then Romney would be a McCain-like disaster for the GOP. I find it telling that few people seem to care about that.

    • Rick Moran

      The writer writes for PJ Media, known homosexual advocates (i.e. non-conservatives).

      You sound cute. Could I get your phone number?

  • ObamaYoMoma

    Romney’s predatory capitalism practiced while he was CEO of Bain Capital.

    Who would have ever thought that Gingrich would coordinate with the Obama White House and The Occupy Wall Street Movement to launch leftwing anti-Capitalist attacks against Romney. The voters need to tell Gingrich that actions speak louder than words. I'll never look at Gingrich the same ever again. As for as I'm concerned, he is a crybaby and a sleaze bag! Not to mention that he never did plausibly explain that $1.6 million pay off he received from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

    Anyway, Bain Capital purchased companies that were already failing and if these companies had failed instead of being rescued by Bain Capital, all the jobs inevitably would have been lost. Not to mention all the jobs that were subsequently created after those companies had been successfully rescued as well by Bain Capital also never would have ever emerged. Sure some difficult compromises had to be made and some jobs had to be sacrificed in order to save other jobs, but that's the nature of business and the nature of of capitalism. Overall, Bain Capital's record under Romney was pretty damn good, 78 percent of the companies purchased were saved, with just 22 percent failing, which is a lot better than 100 percent failure had they not been rescued and saved by Bain Capital.

    Unfortunately, now the Obama campaign can claim that Romney was a corporate raider more loyal to Wall Street than to main street and even many prominent Republicans such as Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, and John Huntsman find that very distasteful.

    As for as Ron Paul goes, there aren't enough Jew haters and Israel bashers in the country for him to win. Huntsman's support is mostly Dhimmicrats, because most Republicans aren't dumb enough to support that moron. Santorum is the reincarnation of GWB. In other words, other than social conservatism, Santorum is a big government liberal. Newt is a sleazeball on the take, a liar, and a crybaby. Perry is a mentally incompetent embarrassment and intellectually dishonest buffoon.

    • Flipside

      Stop libeling people, Jim Hoft.

  • Zinnia2

    well, we all still have our favs (in the race and not), but in the end it will be Anyone but the occupier of the oval office who is in defiance of the US Constitution.

  • Fred Dawes

    Mitt is the new world order he wants you to pay big bankers and loves evil doers who hate the people of this country, mitt wants you to pay for the Air and pay for the third world so he can make billions on your back. Mitt hates the bill of rights as so many non Americans do! and come on Mitt may as well be a total Leftist. Mitt is obama just in white face.

  • WildJew

    This strategy of attacking Romney's years at Bain Capital will likely backfire. Conservatives aren't buying it. Romney seems to be a big-government (pro-Individual Mandate) liberal. Not the Massachusetts "moderate" Gingrich is painting him. Maybe that is why Romney will not acknowledge that Obama (who is a Marxist) is a socialist when he is asked.

    The important issue(s) to me (some have been mentioned above) is Romney's weakness on national security / foreign policy. Many Americans are unconcerned presently about these issues; sadly. Clearly Romney is an apologist for Islam. He supports Israel's domestic enemies, who Gingrich had the courage to call "terrorists," for which Romney said he was a bomb thrower. If Romney is the nominee, I will vote for him, hoping for the best. He cannot be worse than this dangerous Muslim-born president, but I fear a President Romney will further alienate principled conservatives to seek out risky alternatives like Dr. Paul and others like him.

  • BS77

    Support voter ID legislation to make sure voting is by US citizens.

    • Boston

      Then that moron Flipside won't be able to vote.

      • Flipside

        Come to the voting booth with me. Watch me cast my vote for Ron Paul.

  • Jim Duggan

    Romney is a corporate, neocon whore. There isn't much daylight between him and Obama. Ron Paul is the only constitutional conservative in the race. If you want real change, support Ron Paul!

  • Oleg

    This reads pretty much like an OP Ed piece written by the Romney Campaign. I'm surprized that the Republican establishment and the Romney camp are touting that this is the first time since 1976 that a candidate won both the Iowa and New Hamshire primary. Hmm who was the Republican presidential candidate in 1976?? That's right, another mushy moderate, socially liberal, establishment candidate from MIchigan, Gerry Ford. The same Gerry Ford that lost to who has only recently become the second worst president in U.S history, Jimmy Carter.

  • Oleg

    The author also mentions John Huntsman but also touches on the fact that New Hampshire has a semi open Republican primary. Where is the groundswell of support for John Huntsman inside the Republican Party? The only endorsements I have seen for this man have been from CNN and Democrat politicians. But in a state with an open primary his support goes from dead last to finishing third? I see echos of the promries of 2008 where the Dems were switching parties to vote in Republic primaries to ensure that John McCain ended up as the nominee.

  • BS77

    Read Ann Coulter's column about firing government workers ….Jan 11, 2010…it's freakin' incredible.