It really shouldn't be a surprise that the Mittster kicked every one's tail in New Hampshire. He lives right across the boarder in Massachusetts. The far right hand corner of the nation possesses a regional identity that transcends state lines. Other than perhaps the deep south, such a thing simply doesn't exist anywhere else in the country. Mitt's people could spend all day campaigning in the Granite State and drive home to North Quincy every night. Everyone is a Red Sox fan. No one likes the Yankees, or just about anyone else for that matter. The world ends on the west shore of Lake Champlain. No, lets not put too much into the percentages just yet. Bigger things in stranger places are yet to come.
What was impressive for Mr. Romney was where his support came from. Just about everyone but the young crowd voted for him. He won the $30K to $50K income bracket, he won the $200+K voters. He won among those who have no college education and among those who have post graduate degrees. He even won among those who consider themselves aligned with the tea party movement.
That last demographic should give serious pause to his opponents, all of whom have been counting on the tea party mob to turn away from what they portray as a closet liberal.
Ron Paul came in second with 23% of the vote as opposed to Romney's 39%. He continues to do well with the kids. His constituency in New Hampshire was heavily dependent on 18 to 24 year old single white males with little money who consider themselves not republican, but independent. A Ron Paul news letter assertion that agents of the Israeli Mossad were actually the perpetrators of the Sept 11 attacks on New York and Washington seems not to matter a whit. His run has become the ultimate anti-Washington candidacy. His fan base is so convinced that government as usual is evil they might even believe that nonsense. What they would do, or would actually happen to them if he were to somehow become president of the United States isn't something they even think about.
What is one to say about the rest of the field? Jon Hunstman pulled in 17% and his campaign seems delusional enough to think he can attract independents and democrats.
Newt Gingrich polled only 10%. However, South Carolina and Florida are coming up and Newt has pulled off the gloves. His is now officially a campaign of burning bridges and scorched earth. Since he is down south and on the ropes he is going to let loose with a barrage the likes of which haven't been seen since Big Joe McCarthy was running amok in Washington.
Santorum, who was kicked out of office in his home state, finished with 9%. That fantasy lasted exactly one week.
Rick Perry polled 1% of the vote. He'll do marginally better in the south, but the brutal truth is he probably won't even last until April 3rd, when Texas holds its primary. Exit polls showed his constituency to be older women with low incomes and little education.
So is it over? Some of the president's people think so. Attack ads against Romney have all ready begun to surface on the web.
The truth is it probably isn't over, but someone is going to have to put a real dent into the Romney machine either in South Carolina, or Florida. If he wins both those primaries the field can fold their tents and save every one's time and money. The feeling here is that the March 3rd Super Tuesday primaries and caucuses will settle the argument once and for all.
The other feeling is that Ron Paul is going to go rogue this fall and run as an independent. When he does the happiest person in America will be Barak Hussein Obama