MANCHESTER, N.H. - Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is two for two in Republican primary contests following his impressive victory in New Hampshire Tuesday night.
After a widely expected victory, Romney preached his message of a better America to a cheering audience.
"We are one nation under God. Make no mistake in this campaign, I will offer the American ideals of economic freedom, a clear and unapologetic defense, and we are going to win with that message," he said.
Exit polling showed electability and experience as the most important factors for New Hampshire voters. That played to Romney's strength.
The Obama reelection campaign is also aware that his reputation as an economic "Mr. Fix It" would present a huge challenge in a general election.
"He's a very smart businessman. He knows what he's doing. I'm a manufacturing guy and he's going to bring back manufacturing in America," one Romney supporter said.
"The country really needs experience. Problems are large and he has done some of it," another Romney supporter said.
While Romney's first place finish wasn't really in doubt, the rest of the order was. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, claimed the coveted second spot by doing very well among independents.
"The intellectual revolution going on now to restore liberty in this country is well on its way and there's no way to stop the momentum that we have started," Paul said.
Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who spent nearly all his time in New Hampshire, placed a disappointing third.
Former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., placed fourth and fifth respectively. Both of them say they'll do much better in more conservative South Carolina, where evangelicals will play a bigger role.
Santorum told CBN News that this race won't end even if Romney also wins South Carolina.
"Obviously the sooner this could be a two-person race, the better. But there's plenty of time. This race isn't going to be over in South Carolina, as much as the media would like to have you believe," he said.
"'Oh, he'll be unstoppable.' They've said he was unstoppable before the first vote was cast," the former Pennsylvania senator said.
** Dr. Paul Bonicelli, professor of government at Regent University, discussed Romney's momentum and the importance of the South Carolina Republican primary to remaining candidates, on CBN News Channel Morning News, Jan. 11.