Romney sweeps to victory in New Hampshire primary

GOP front-runner pledges "simpler, smaller and smarter" federal government.

Charles Dharapak/AP

Mitt Romney easily won the New Hampshire primary Tuesday night, according to CNN.

The victory makes Romney the first non-incumbent to win the first two Republican contests since the modern campaign calendar was adopted 32 years ago, and propels him into South Carolina as a favorite for the nomination.

In a victory speech, Romney drew a sharp contrast between himself and President Obama when it comes to the size and role of government.

"I will make the federal government simpler, smaller and smarter," Romney said.

Romney's win capped a difficult few days of attacks on his career as a venture capitalist, with several rivals painting him as a takeover artist who caused workers to lose their jobs. There was no doubt the assault would follow him to South Carolina.

Rep. Ron Paul of Texas finished second and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman finished third in the New Hampshire primary, CNN reported, results that put Huntsman's Republican presidential campaign in jeopardy.

While the former Massachusetts governor was heavily favored to win, the only suspense of the night was whether Huntsman would do well enough to move his campaign to South Carolina. Huntsman had campaigned almost exclusively in New Hampshire.

"I have to believe there are at least three tickets out of New Hampshire," Huntsman told CNN before the race was called. "We go South from here."

Paul finished third in Iowa and second in New Hampshire, and has the resources needed to continue collecting delegates.

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