Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, has won the New Hampshire GOP primary presidential election vote, as expected, with the support of more than one-third of Republican voters who cast ballots today for multiple candidates.
With 95% of the results tallied, Romney finished with the backing of 40 percent of Republicans in the Granite State, the first to cast ballots in the race to replace pro-abortion President Barack Obama. His primary election victory in the traditional second state comes one week after he eked out a narrow 8-vote victory in the Iowa caucuses last Tuesday.
“Thank you, new Hampshire, tonight we made history,” Romney said in a speech after the race had been called. “Tonight we celebrate but tomorrow we go back to work.”
“Today we’re faced with the disappointing record of a failed president,” Romney said. “This president wakes up every morning, looks across America, and is proud to say, ‘it could be worse'”
“This president has run out of ideas, now he’s running out of excuses,” he added. “This president puts his faith in government, we put our faith in the American people. He [Obama] passed Obamacare, I’ll repeal it.”
Congressman Ron Paul finished in second place with the support of 23 percent of New Hampshire voters after placing third in Iowa. Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who came in last place in Iowa after choosing not to compete there, finished third with the support of 17 percent.
Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, placed fourth in New Hampshire with the support of 10 percent after also coming in fourth place in Iowa. Following his surprise second place finish in Iowa, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum came in fifth place, with 9 percent, in the state has that fewer socially conservative pro-life voters.
Gingrich said, “We have between now and South Carolina to make our case to the voters that Newt Gingrich is not only the candidate who can beat Mitt Romney for the nomination, he’s the candidate who can defeat Barack Obama in November.”
Rick Perry, the Texas governor, largely did not compete in New Hampshire after coming in fifth place in Iowa and he is hoping South Carolina, which votes next, will give him the ability to get back in the race. He finished last with the support of 1 percent of the vote.
“Tonight’s results in New Hampshire show the race for ‘conservative alternative’ to Mitt Romney remains wide open. I skipped New Hampshire and aimed my campaign right at conservative South Carolina, where we’ve been campaigning hard and receiving an enthusiastic welcome. I believe being the only non-establishment outsider in the race, the proven fiscal and social conservative and proven job creator will win the day in South Carolina,” he said. “South Carolina is the next stop. I have a head start here, and it’s friendly territory for a Texas governor and veteran with solid outsider credentials, the nation’s best record of job creation, and solid fiscal, social and Tea Party conservatism.”
CNN exit polling data showed, of New Hampshire voters, six percent of Republicans said abortion was the top issue. Breaking down the vote, Santorum got 47%, Paul 16, Romney 14, Huntsman 9, and Gingrich 7 percent.