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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It is an open question whether Ron Paul’s relative success in New Hampshire can translate into primary victories elsewhere. Few GOP primaries are open to Democrats and independents like New Hampshire’s contest, and exit polls show Paul doing poorly with GOP voters (16% to Romney’s 49%) and conservatives (19% to 42% for Romney). Losing 2-1 to your main rival for the nomination among those two groups is not a harbinger of success.

Jon Huntsman declared that he’s “got a ticket to ride” to South Carolina because of his third place showing, but a more realistic assessment of his performance might argue that after spending more than 100 days straight criss-crossing New Hampshire and only finishing a distant third, his chances of winning the nomination are not any better than the also-rans. Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum battled it out for 4th place, each polling around 10%, while Rick Perry barely registered in the polls, getting just 1%. Santorum and Perry were not seriously competing in New Hampshire, preferring to stake it all on making a good showing in South Carolina.

The exit polls reveal a Republican electorate seriously concerned about the electability of their candidate and Romney topped his competitors by a margin of 3-1 in that category. The exit polls also showed a Romney winning margin with all income groups, all religions, all age groups (except the 18-29 youth vote that went to Paul), tea party supporters, moderates, and those who consider themselves somewhat/very conservative. Paul surpassed Romney with registered Democrats and narrowly beat him with independents.

While these results may be atypical for Romney given his strong ties to the state and the nature of the electorate, which is decidedly less conservative than many other venues, the exit polls show that Mitt Romney’s major selling point down the road to Republican voters will be his electability. When asked what was the one quality that mattered most in deciding who to vote for, 35% of voters said “can defeat Barack Obama.” By a large margin, this was the quality most Republicans in New Hampshire were looking for and Romney claimed 62% of the voters who felt that way. Newt Gingrich came in second with 12%.

The upcoming primary in South Carolina on January 21 promises to be even more bruising than New Hampshire for the frontrunner. Polls show Romney with a slight lead and his closest rivals in the Palmetto State — Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich — will almost certainly bring out the heavy artillery and blast away at what they are saying is Romney’s predatory capitalism practiced while he was CEO of Bain Capital. Romney’s claim that he helped create 100,000 jobs by taking over failing businesses and making them more efficient has been challenged by both his GOP opponents and Democrats, who are warming up their attack machine, echoing many of the criticisms of Romney by members of his own party.

An analysis by the Wall Street Journal reveals that, while Romney made a lot of money for himself and his investors, and was successful in turning around some businesses, there were also many companies that failed and even more where there were job losses. The fact is, both Romney and his opponents are exaggerating his record at Bain, which plays into the hands of the Democrats who are gleefully watching Gingrich et al. tear into the frontrunner, hoping to bloody him and keep him from running away with the nomination.

That may prove very difficult to do. There will almost certainly be several candidates who will not make it out of South Carolina, narrowing the field to the point that for the first time, the conservative vote will not be as fractured as it was in New Hampshire. The next contest after South Carolina is Florida on January 31 where there may be only 2 conservative rivals for Romney to overcome. If the conservative vote coalesces behind one candidate, Romney will be challenged as never before.

But the frontrunner may have a secret weapon in the Sunshine State. Former Governor Jeb Bush has not openly declared a preference for his state’s primary, but it is believed that he is leaning toward Romney. There are close ties between Jeb and the Romney campaign as several aides of the former Florida governor are currently working for Romney. Former President George H.W. Bush has endorsed Romney and it is believed that even if he was inclined to support another candidate, Jeb would defer to his father and not undercut his endorsement. Even a neutral Jeb Bush helps Romney in a state that is ruinously expensive as far as paid media is concerned and the frontrunner will have the cash to far outspend his rivals.

If Romney can run the table from Iowa through Florida, it is very difficult to imagine a scenario where he can be stopped from claiming the nomination. Much of the GOP might not like it, but Mitt Romney has the momentum, the organization, and the cash to make hash out of the GOP race and unless a way can be found to stop him, he is likely to be the Republican candidate for president in November.

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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.