January 11, 2012

SO WIDE YOU CAN'T GET OVER IT:

Romney's New Hampshire Breadth: The presidential hopeful's victory Tuesday was striking in its reach across major demographic and ideological groups. (PAUL A. GIGOT, 1/12/12, WSJ)

The former Massachusetts governor won 49% of Republicans, who constituted half of the electorate. But he also won 29% of self-described independents, losing only to Ron Paul's 32%. This is in contrast to John McCain in 2008 and in 2000, when the Arizona senator's New Hampshire wins relied on more independents. That could pose problems for Mr. Romney in the general election when he would need to win independents by a considerable margin. But New Hampshire suggests he is consolidating support among GOP regulars, which will make him difficult to beat for the nomination.

Also notable was Mr. Romney's appeal to those who strongly or somewhat support the tea party, who represented about half of primary voters. Mr. Romney won 40% compared to 22% for Mr. Paul. Reaching tea party denizens had been one of Mr. Romney's weaknesses, and there will be more of them in South Carolina than in New England.

Posted by at January 11, 2012 3:00 PM
  

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