NBC is already calling it with 17% reporting, and it would definitely be difficult for anybody to catch up in such a divided field. Too many candidates taking away votes from each other.

The numbers…

  1. Mitt Romney – 35%
  2. Ron Paul – 25%
  3. Jon Huntsman – 17%
  4. Newt Gingrich – 11%
  5. Rick Santorum – 10%
  6. Rick Perry – 1%

Here’s what the exit polling suggests about those who supported Mitt:

Romney won with a coalition of those who thought electability and the economy were most important, as well as wealthy voters. Just over a third of voters in today’s primary said a candidate’s ability to beat President Obama was the top issue in deciding their vote, according to exit poll data available at 8 p.m. ET. Of those voters, 59 percent went for Romney.

Voters who said they were concerned about the economy also sided with Romney, who also won self-described conservatives and even Tea Party voters – two blocs that had seemed disinclined to support Romney in last week’s Iowa caucus, in which Romney scraped by with an 8-vote win. Sixty-one percent of voters said the economy was their top issue. Of them, 42 percent went for Romney.

So…the lingering question…will it be enough?

Back in 2008, Mitt got 32% of the vote and McCain got 37%. So while this 35% is 10 points better (if it holds up) than Ron Paul’s take, it’s not as impressive as him blowing away the field.

Also, what’s more impressive? Romney getting 35% when he got 35% last time or Ron Paul getting 25% when he got 7% in 2008? That’s a massive jump and the same can be said for Paul’s run in Iowa, which went from 10% in 2008 to 21% in 2012. Romney didn’t even reach 26% in 2012 in Iowa, which was his 2008 total.

Regardless, New Hampshire is over and South Carolina is next. Look for a lot of these candidates to mount their last stand. Personally, I think Huntsman may bow out after this, and Rick Perry should…but he probably won’t. So you’ll have a lot of negative ads directed at Romney and his Bain years, with Gingrich being the biggest spender.

Interesting times ahead…

More as it develops…

Politics Romney Wins New Hampshire, But Is It Enough To Steamroll To Nomination?