Charles Krauthammer January 16, 2012
WASHINGTON — Two stories came out of New Hampshire. The big story was Mitt Romney. The bigger one was Ron Paul.
Romney won a major victory with nearly 40 percent of the vote, 16 points ahead of No. 2. The split among his challengers made the outcome even more decisive. Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich were diminished by distant, lower-tier finishes. Rick Perry got less than 1 percent. And Jon Huntsman, who staked everything on New Hampshire, came in a weak third with less than half of Romney’s vote. He practically moved to the state — and then received exactly one-sixth of the vote in a six-man contest. Where does he go from here?
But the bigger winner was Ron Paul. He got 21 percent in Iowa, 23 in New Hampshire, the only candidate other than Romney to do well with two very different electorates, one more evangelical and socially conservative, the other more moderate and fiscally conservative.