Romney Takes New Hampshire, On To South Carolina

Not that it was a particularly big surprise that Romney won the Granite State

(CNN) Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney won a convincing victory in the New Hampshire primary, the second straight triumph for Romney and one that bolsters his front-runner status to take on President Barack Obama in November.

All six Republican contenders head to South Carolina on Wednesday ahead of the next primary.

With 95% of precincts reporting, Romney received 40% of the vote in Tuesday’s balloting. Texas Rep. Ron Paul received 23% and former Utah Gov. and U.S. Ambassador Jon Huntsman garnered 17%.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum came in with 10% and 9%, respectively, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry had 1%.

Now we move into the South Carolina primary on January 21. Why is S.C. important?

“As goes South Carolina, so goes the rest of the South.” Those were the words of late South Carolina GOP Chairman Dan Ross in 1979 when the South Carolina Republican Party officially established its presidential primary beginning in 1980.

Since then, and with every presidential election cycle since, South Carolina has always gotten it right. They got it right when Ronald Reagan defeated John Connally in 1980, when George Bush defeated Pat Robertson after his surprise Iowa caucus win in 1988, when Bob Dole stopped Pat Buchanan following his New Hampshire primary win in 1996, when George W. Bush defeated John McCain in 2000, and when John McCain beat back a challenge from Mike Huckabee in 2008.

Could South Carolina change and not be the predictor of the GOP nominee this year? It’s possible, based on whether or not they buy into a possible “President Romney.” According to a recent poll (in a story about Stephen Colbert leading Jon Huntsman)

Leading the pack in the poll, released Tuesday, is Mitt Romney with 27 percent, followed by Newt Gingrich (23 percent), Rick Santorum (18 percent), Ron Paul (8 percent) and Rick Perry (7 percent). Last is former Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer, who also trails Colbert, with 1 percent.

The question in S.C. will be “do they like the scorched Romney campaign of Gingrich?” Remember, part of Southern culture (despite lots of carpetbaggers) is politeness. They may not take to kindly to the heavy handed attacks, especially on capitalism.

Anyhow, if Perry doesn’t do well, at least a 3rd place finish, if not 2nd, his campaign will surely be toast. Huntsman should probably give it up now. He is actually the best conservative in the field, yet, he has never attempted to explain why he worked for Obama as ambassador for China, he supports legislation and regulation on the climate change hoax, and he is going after independents during a primary. Speaking of quitting

Rep. Ron Paul’s campaign called on the rest of the Republican field to drop out of the race and unite behind him in order to defeat Mitt Romney.

Someone sounds desperate. Also, funny how “The Last Man Who Follows The Constitution” isn’t really happy dealing with competition. You know who should drop out? Ron Paul. Were he to somehow win the primaries, he would be an embarrassment that would drive the GOP into minority party status for the next 20-30 years.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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