YOUNG HUDSON INGOLDSBY spent the day at Prospect Mountain High School holding a sign for Mitt Romney. Ingoldsby was heavily involved in the Romney campaign and was featured on the campaign Web site and in at least one television commercial and he was planning on attending the former Massachusetts governorís victory party after calling in Altonís numbers to campaign headquarters. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
January 11, 2012REGION — It didn't take very long for the television networks to call the New Hampshire Primary for former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.
And local residents pretty much said the same thing. Though it was a little closer in two of the towns in The Baysider coverage area.
Romney, who owns a house just up Route 28 from Alton in Wolfeboro, swept to victory across the state, with Rep. Ron Paul pulling a strong second place and former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman finishing third. Paul and Huntsman were in a battle for the second spot for much of the evening, but younger supporters seemed to pull the Texas Congressman through to a second place finish.
Newt Gingrich, who earned the endorsement of New Hampshire's largest newspaper, The Union Leader, and former Pennsylvania Congressman Rick Santorum, riding high off a second-place finish to Romney in the Iowa caucus a week earlier, were locked in a tight battle for fourth place as of late Tuesday night. Former Texas Governor Rick Perry barely registered on the radar and left the Granite State with his campaign on life support.
On the local level, Alton and Barnstead results were reported to The Baysider just after 10 p.m. on Tuesday and revealed a victory for Romney, though Barnstead voters weren't nearly as convinced that he is the right man for the job as their counterparts in Alton.
In Alton, Romney captured 653 voters, easily outpacing Paul, who picked up 375 votes. Huntsman finished in third place with 204 votes. Santorum was fourth with 175 votes and Gingrich finished fifth with 153 tallies. Perry received only 12 votes.
In Barnstead, Romney pulled out a closer win, garnering 282 votes, just six more than Paul, who carded in at 276. Santorum pulled to third in Barnstead with 133 votes, with Huntsman taking fourth place with 124 votes. Gingrich was marked on 80 ballots and Perry picked up 23 votes.
New Durham also went for Romney, though like Barnstead, the race was relatively close.
The former Massachusetts governor picked up 226 votes to Paul's 193. Huntsman was third with 87 votes and Santorum finished in fourth with 67 votes. Gingrich finished with 47 and Perry garnered two.
President Barack Obama had no major competition on the Democratic side of the ballot, though there were 13 other candidates on the ballot. Obama received 126 votes in Alton, 66 in New Durham and 132 in Barnstead.
All told, Barnstead Town Clerk Cynthia Treadwell reported 1,106 of the 2,752 voters on the town checklist filled out a ballot, including 85 people who registered at the polls.
In Alton, Town Clerk Lisa Noyes noted that there were 1,755 votes cast of the 3,704 names on the town's checklist. Alton had more than 100 people register to vote on Tuesday.
Romney was quick to point out that the race was far from over and he intended to keep going strong to South Carolina.
"This state has always been a special place for our family," Romney told supporters at his victory party in Manchester. "Ann and I made a home here and we've filled it with great memories of our children and grandchildren. And this Granite State moment is one we will always remember.
"Tonight, we celebrate," he continued. "Tomorrow, we go back to work."
Romney also took aim at President Obama.
"We remember when Barack Obama came to New Hampshire four years ago," Romney said. "He promised to bring people together. He promised to change the broken system in Washington. He promised to improve our nation. Those were the days of lofty promises made by a hopeful candidate. Today, we are faced with the disappointing record of a failed president. The last three years have held a lot of change, but they haven't offered much hope."
With almost 80 percent of precincts reporting from across the state at 11 p.m., Romney had 38 percent of the vote at 70,550 votes, while Paul stood at 23 with 42,908 and Huntsman had 17 percent at 31,295. Santorum and Gingrich each stood at 10 percent with more than 17,000 votes and just more than 100 votes separating them.
Joshua Spaulding can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 569-3126