Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Supporters at the for Romney for President New Hampshire primary night rally at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, N.H., Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012 cheer as it is announced that the election has been called for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Mitt Romney cruises, Ron Paul in 2nd, trailed by Huntsman

Paul comes in second, trailed by Huntsman, but with back-to-back victories, Romney looks tough to beat.

First Published Jan 10 2012 06:15 pm • Last Updated Jan 11 2012 11:07 am

Manchester, N.H. • Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney handily won the New Hampshire Republican primary Tuesday, leveling a one-two punch against his rivals that could roll into a quick lock on the presidential nomination.

Romney, who also bested the GOP field in Iowa, took the key Granite State by a significant margin.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Ex-Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who staked his entire campaign on a good showing in New Hampshire, nabbed a third-place finish, coming in several points behind Rep. Ron Paul who appeared to draw independents Huntsman had been seeking.

For Huntsman, the spot is enough to continue on to South Carolina for the next battle and he spun his loss as an out-of-the-ashes moment for his campaign.

"I say third pace is a ticket to ride," Huntsman said. "We’re going to South Carolina."

Romney, though, is leading in polls in the next primary and walks into the state Wednesday as the clear front-runner hoping to sweep the early contests on the way to challenging President Barack Obama. The former head of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City offered a blistering take on Obama’s presidency as he eyed taking him on.

"The president has run out of ideas," Romney said. "Now, he’s running out of excuses. And tonight, we are asking the good people of South Carolina to join the citizens of New Hampshire and make 2012 the year he runs out of time."

Romney, who had lost the New Hampshire primary four years ago, told an exuberant crowd that, "Tonight, we celebrate. Tomorrow, we go back to work."

Both Romney and Huntsman have events scheduled for Wednesday in Columbia, S.C.

Huntsman saw an 11th hour surge of momentum that brought him into contention against Paul, though it came too late to carry Huntsman higher.

story continues below
story continues below

Supporters chanting "country first" welcomed the ex-governor to a packed-to-the-gills bar in downtown Manchester where he thanked supporters and vowed to fight on.

Huntsman has abandoned a more aggressive push in South Carolina after fund-raising started to dry up.

But campaign manager Matt David said he expects to have all the resources to compete — he noted a sharp up-tick in donations in recent days — and that the former governor has one of the strongest ground forces in South Carolina.

"We were at seven points [in the polls] last Friday and we’re going to finish near 20" percent, David said. "We’ve just got to continue to build on this momentum."

Short on campaign cash, Huntsman had held more than 170 events in New Hampshire, trying to woo voters in small groups instead of airing television commercials.

It worked with Karen Howard of Merrimack.

"He brings a fresh approach to things," she said after voting for him. "I like everything he stands for. He’s the real deal."

But Romney voters — and those backing Paul — dominated across the state.

"He would be the best challenger to Barack Obama," said Joy Dustin of Concord, who said she sees Romney as a president who could bring positive change for the nation. "A change would be good for America."

There was a sense with some voters, however, that they’re none-to-happy with Romney as their nominee.

"I don’t trust Mitt Romney," said Michelle Michaud of Nashua who voted for Paul. "He’s too suave, too GQ. Something just doesn’t rub right about him."

Next Page >

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.