A la Vince Vaughn from the Wedding Crashers, it's primary season! With the Iowa caucus earlier this month acting as the curtain raiser to the primary season proper, New Hampshire is the first stop for the tour bus. Pressing the flesh and gaining delegates is the aim of the game here and the next couple of months will make or destroy the candidates. Some are on their last run... aren't they Ron?
Willard was always expected to do well here - he is a wealthy man in a wealthy state - and he delivered, showing he can connect with the 'first in the nation' state by winning 39.3% of the vote and bagging 97, 591 ballots. The evergreen libertarian Ron Paul came second with 22.9% whilst fellow Mormon Jon Huntsman came third with 16.9% with Iowa surprise Rick Santorum flagging in fourth; reinforcing the notion of his pigeon-holed candidacy.
Huntsman has come with a lot of hype and his team will take, but not be satisfied with, this third placed finish. Like Romney, the crux of his candidacy is on economic reforms and, if he is to be taken seriously, he should have done better here. Although Huntsman's rhetoric seems far more palatable to the crucial centre ground than Willard's.
Santorum's result probably goes to show he's nothing more than a 'flash in the pan' runner whilst this all but spells the end for Gingrich. With the disarray surrounding his campaign, the poor performance here does nothing but compound the reality for the former Speaker that his mainstream political career is effectively over. Ciao!