Building on his slight edge in the Iowa caucus, Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney claimed a solid win in New Hampshire, The Ticket reported. Romney took 39 percent of the vote, with a 16-point spread between him and the next most popular candidate, Ron Paul.
With two primary wins behind him, is Romney a shoo-in for the Republican nomination? Here's a recap on primary action so far and what's coming up that could determine the answer to that question.
How Far Ahead Is Romney and What Does It Mean?
Romney's win in New Hampshire was decisive, but New Hampshire is a small state with only four electoral votes. His lead in Iowa was barely perceptible, with Rick Santorum only eight votes behind him. Romney isn't in the clear yet, but he's going into South Carolina from a vantage point of being a two-time winner.
South Carolina's Poll Prognostications
South Carolina's presidential preference vote takes place Jan. 21. Unless a lot changes between now and then, Romney will likely emerge the victor, according to various polls. PPP polling data reflects a seven point preference for Romney (30 percent) over second choice Newt Gingrich (23 percent), Real Clear Politics noted, while Rasmussen shows Romney (27 percent) with a three point lead over second place candidate Santorum (24 percent), and CNN/Time an 18-point lead (37 percent) with Santorum (19 percent) edging out Gingrich (18 percent) by one point for second place.
Not only does it look like Romney is positioned for a South Carolina win, his closest competitors are Gingrich, who made a dismal showing in Iowa and New Hampshire, and Santorum, who provided strong competition in Iowa but fell far behind in New Hampshire. Republicans will have to consider whether either of these candidates can garner the nationwide support necessary to beat the incumbent president, Barack Obama, in the general election.
South Carolina brings eight electoral votes to the table.
Florida's On the Horizon
Florida is big player with 27 electoral votes to cast. Its presidential preference primary is slated for Jan. 31. An important poll coming out of Florida, Quinnipiac says the presidential race is too close to call. But it gives Romney a putative three-point spread over Obama (46 percent to 43 percent), while Santorum would likely lose to Obama (43 percent to 45 percent).
This doesn't put the other candidates out of the race; in addition to Santorum's Iowa near-tie and anticipated strong showing in the South, Paul performed well in New Hampshire and Jon Huntsman has been building momentum in recent days. But challenging the front-runner Romney will be no easy task particularly with poll data for a state that's a political powerhouse suggesting he may be the Republican candidate most likely to take the White House.
- Politics & Government/Elections
- Politics & Government
- Rick Santorum
- New Hampshire
- South Carolina