Mitt Romney wins the 2012 New Hampshire Republican primary

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney won the first-in-the-US New Hampshire Republican primary on Tuesday with 97,600 votes (39.3%). This follows his narrow victory in the Iowa Caucus last week. Congressman Ron Paul, who finished third in the Iowa Caucus, came in second with 56,872 votes (22.9%). Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman, Jr., who spent a great amount of resources on the primary, came in third place with 41,783 votes (16.8%).

Romney in December 2011.
Image: Gage Skidmore..

The New Hampshire primary, the first primary of the election, is the second in a series of state elections that help to assign delegates to candidates to determine the presidential nominee of the Republican Party. Delegates can also be assigned from members of the Republican National Committee, though these are unpledged and subject to change. To win the nomination, a candidate must accumulate 1,144 delegates.

With his victory, Romney claimed seven delegates to increase his total to 25 with unpledged delegates included. Paul won three delegates for his finish to total ten delegates, placing him second overall to Romney. Despite his third place finish, Huntsman is currently sixth overall in delegates with only the two he won in New Hampshire. He currently trails former Senator Rick Santorum who has compiled eight delegates overall, followed by Texas governor Rick Perry with four, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich with three.

In his victory speech, Romney criticized President Barack Obama, saying he "wants to turn America into a European-style entitlement society," countering that he himself wants "to ensure that we remain a free and prosperous land of opportunity." Romney received a call following the results from Paul, who offered his congratulations. Paul mentioned afterwards that "He certainly had a clear-cut victory. But we’re nibbling at his heels." Paul, a libertarian, added, "I have to chuckle when they describe us as being dangerous. That’s one thing they are telling the truth [about]. Because we are dangerous to the status quo in this country!"

Though some Huntsman supporters were disappointed with their candidate's third place finish, Huntsman stated his "confidence in the system is reborn because of the people of New Hampshire". He announced he would remain in the race and head to South Carolina for that state's primary on January 21.

Gingrich finished in fifth place with 23,291 votes (9.4%) slightly behind Santorum who won 23,408 votes (9.4%) despite the surge from his strong showing in the Iowa Caucus. Perry, who did not focus on New Hampshire after the Iowa Caucus, finished with 1,764 votes (0.7%).

The campaigns now head to South Carolina, where all six major candidates still in the race will compete. The latest We Ask America poll from South Carolina shows Romney with 26 percent, ahead of Gingrich with 21 percent and Santorum with 13 percent.

New Hampshire Republican primary complete results

Candidate Votes Percentage Delegates Results by County
Mitt Romney 97,600 39.3% 7

Image: Lolthatswonderful.

██ Mitt Romney

██ Ron Paul

Ron Paul 56,872 22.9% 3
Jon Huntsman, Jr. 41,783 16.9% 2
Rick Santorum 23,408 9.4% -
Newt Gingrich 23,291 9.4% -
Rick Perry 1,764 0.7% -
Buddy Roemer 950 0.4% -
Write-ins 540 0.2% -
Fred Karger 485 0.2% -
Michele Bachmann[1] 350 0.1% -
Kevin Rubash 249 0.1% -
Gary Johnson[2] 181 0.1% -
Herman Cain[3] 161 0.1% -
Jeff Lawman 119 0.0% -
Christopher Hill 108 0.0% -
Benjamin Linn 83 0.0% -
Michael Meehan 54 0.0% -
Keith Drummond 42 0.0% -
Joe Story 42 0.0% -
Bear Betzler 29 0.0% -
Joe Robinson 25 0.0% -
Stewart Greenleaf 24 0.0% -
Mark Callahan 20 0.0% -
Andy Martin 19 0.0% -
Linden Swift 18 0.0% -
Timothy Brewer 15 0.0% -
Vern Wuensche 15 0.0% -
John Davis 14 0.0% -
Randy Crow 12 0.0% -
Hugh Cort 3 0.0% -
James Vestermark 3 0.0% -
  1. Bachmann dropped out following the Iowa Caucus
  2. Johnson dropped out in December to seek the Libertarian Party presidential nomination
  3. Cain dropped out in December