On Tuesday, it was New Hampshire residents’ turn to cast their votes for a Republican presidential nominee. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney won the New Hampshire Republican primary on Tuesday night, capturing 39% of the vote. Congressman Ron Paul, from Texas, came in second with 23% of the vote. He was followed by Jon Huntsman (17%), Newt Gingrich (9%), Rick Santorum (9%) and Rick Perry (1%).
New Hampshire was the second state to hold a primary or caucus. On January 3, Republican voters in Iowa picked their favorites. Mitt Romney won by just eight votes. He and former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum each captured 25% of the vote. Romney is the first non-incumbent—a candidate who is not the sitting President—in recent history to win in both Iowa and New Hampshire. These states traditionally kick off the primary season. "Tonight we celebrate," Romney said during a victory speech in Manchester, New Hampshire, Tuesday night. "Tomorrow we go back to work."
A Long Road Ahead
The race for the 2012 presidential candidacy is just beginning. Next up for the candidates is the South Carolina primary on January 21, when Republicans will vote for the man they want to run for President.. The presidential hopefuls will be fighting hard to win the first southern primary. They will make home visits and appearances around the state. The candidates will also debate one another on January 16 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Through June, other states are scheduled to hold similar caucuses and primaries. A caucus is an early statewide meeting where members of a political party select delegates to support their favorite candidates. A primary is an early, statewide election in which voters choose their favorite candidates. These votes help the Republican Party choose their nominee for the general presidential election. Since Iowa, one candidate, Michele Bachmann, dropped out of the race. In August, Republicans will officially choose their nominee at the Republican National Convention, in Tampa, Florida.
Barack Obama will likely be the Democratic nominee. He kicked off his campaign in April 2011. His party is expected to officially nominate him at the Democratic National Convention. It will be held in Charlotte, North Carolina, in September.