Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Has New Hampshire launched Ron Paul as the leading ‘Anti-Romney’ GOP candidate?

By Adam Bitely
As attention turns away from New Hampshire to South Carolina, Ron Paul is on the move.

Not Rick Santorum. Nor Jon Huntsman. But it is now Paul who stands in the best position to become the only candidate that can challenge Mitt Romney. Paul consistently has had support in the double digits in each state that the GOP nomination contests have been held.

The results from New Hampshire show Ron Paul broke 20 percent of the vote for the second straight time, decisively winning second place. In Iowa, Paul finished strongly in third place with 21.4 percent of the vote behind Santorum and Mitt Romney who were virtually tied. And a recent poll shows Paul and Romney narrowly beating Obama nationally.

With another strong finish by Paul, a clear picture of who the leading “anti-Romney” candidate is may have emerged. And the rest of the “anyone-but-Romney” field will continue to seesaw back and forth in the upcoming contests.

Voters searching for a “conservative” alternative to Romney have been bouncing around for months with various candidates. From Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich and Santorum, it is becoming increasingly clear that Paul is the most organized and prepared candidate to oppose Romney in the long haul of the GOP nomination contests.

Santorum does not have a sustainable campaign operation in place. He will become the 2012 version of Mike Huckabee with his fifth place finish in New Hampshire leaving him to fight for the life of his campaign in South Carolina (click here for the most recent polling data) and possibly Florida (click here for the most recent polling data).

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