As expected, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney takes the New Hampshire primary with 39 percent of the votes. Ron Paul took silver with 23 percent and Jon Huntsman rounded out the top three with 17 percent. The battle for second was decided by a mere 49 votes, with Newt Gingrich slightly edging out Rick Santorum to secure a fourth place finish. Both Gingrich and Santorum netted roughly 9 percent of the votes in New Hampshire. Rick Perry brought up the rear with a mere 1 percent. With a win in New Hampshire, Romney has won the first two republican contests this season. He also won the Iowa caucuses with 25 percent of the votes on Jan. 3. Romney was the heavy favorite heading into the New Hampshire primary Jan. 10. Most political gurus said Romney needed to win New Hampshire by a wide margin in order to be considered the front-runner for the republican presidential nomination. A win and 39 percent of the votes should be seen as a respectable win for Romney and his supporters, especially after facing heavy criticism only days before the primary in regards to his business deals while working for investment firm Bain Capital. Texas Governor Perry said Romney was a “vulture” and claimed Romney was a ruthless capitalist, who laid off many workers during his time at Bain Capital.
Republican hopefuls will now turn their attention to South Carolina, with voting scheduled to take place Jan. 21. The Palmetto State will prove pivotal as the candidates try to capture the Republican nomination.