Romney wins New Hampshire primary

Washington: Mitt Romney today cemented his standing as the Republican front-runner for the White House by sweeping to victory in the New Hampshire primary, turning back a ferocious assault from rivals.

Romney, the former Massachusetts Governor, won the New Hampshire primary by a double digit margin. His victory came on the heels of his win in the Iowa caucus last week by just eight votes in a nail biting finish. The leading Republican candidate received a whopping 40 per cent of the total votes polled in the New Hampshire Republican primary.

Texas Congressman Ron Paul finished second, way behind with 23 per cent and former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, who also served as the US Ambassador to China during first two years of the Obama Administration, was placed a poor third.

Rick Santorum, who lost the Iowa caucus by just eight votes, polled less than 10 per cent of votes and so did Newt Gingrich, former Speaker US House of Representatives, making Romney the hot favourite to take on the incumbent President Barack Obama in November elections.

This is for the first time that a Republican candidate has won both the Iowa Caucus and New Hampshire primary. From New Hampshire, all the Republican candidates move to South Carolina, which is expected to experience a fierce battle among these six Republican presidential aspirants.

With two wins, Romney is ahead of others as he became the first Republican, other than a sitting president, to win both Iowa and New Hampshire. "We made history," Romney said in his victory speech in Manchester.