Mitt Romney has scored another win tonight, defeating his rivals in New Hampshire. The networks declared the results at the earliest possible opportunity, as soon as the polls closed at 8 p.m. Mr. Romney’s New Hampshire victory comes as no surprise, as his dominance in Granite State polling had never been shaken.
Mr. Romney had previously eked out a win in Iowa last week by a mere 8 votes. The win provides a nice boost as his more ideologically rigid rivals compete with one another to coalesce enough voters to provide a substantive challenge to the Romney campaign.
Ron Paul is projected to finish in second place, while Jon Huntsman will finish third. Mr. Huntsman focused much of his energy on tonight’s race, campaigning almost exclusively in New Hampshire at the expense of other states.
As Rick Perry is projected to finish in sixth place, the only undecided element is whether Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum finish fourth. The Perry is spending tonight in South Carolina, likely to avoid highlighting the New Hampshire results. South Carolina votes next on January 21st.
The competition between the candidates is as much of a battle against media expectations as for votes. The vast majority of the delegates will be assigned later in the year.
Last Update: 9:54pm