Mitt Romney has won an easy victory in the first Republican Party primary of the 2012 election season.
Latest but not final figures show Romney polled 39%, ahead of his nearest rival, the Libertarian Ron Paul on 23%. Jon Huntsman polled 17%, Newt Gingrich 10%, Rick Santorum 9% and Rick Perry 1%.
The victory all but guarantees Romney the Republican nomination, barring upsets in South Carolina next week or in Florida at the end of the month.
Romney claimed victory early in the evening with a prepared speech attacking President Barack Obama.
Mitt Romney’s victory speech in New Hampshire.
Thank you, New Hampshire! Tonight, we made history!
This state has always been a special place for our family. Ann and I made a home here and we’ve filled it with great memories of our children and grandchildren. And this Granite State moment is one we will always remember.
Tonight, we celebrate. Tomorrow, we go back to work.
We remember when Barack Obama came to New Hampshire four years ago.
He promised to bring people together.
He promised to change the broken system in Washington.
He promised to improve our nation.
Those were the days of lofty promises made by a hopeful candidate. Today, we are faced with the disappointing record of a failed President. The last three years have held a lot of change, but they haven’t offered much hope.