It's just the first Republican primary. But a convincing win in New Hampshire should give former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney considerable momentum in his quest toward the GOP nomination.
With 95 percent of precincts reporting, Romney had more than 39 percent of the vote. Texas Rep. Ron Paul was solidly in second, with about 23 percent, while former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman had secured third place, with nearly 17 percent of the vote.
Primary Day in New Hampshire turned into open season as GOP rivals launched a barrage of attacks seeking to undermine front-runner Mitt Romney, whose campaign hopes to live up to expectations that he will deliver a solid victory.
Not only does Romney need to win, he needs to win convincingly — holding challengers such as Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich and a resurgent Jon Huntsman comfortably at arm's length.