First from the Wall Street Journal:
1. “Rep. Ron Paul of Texas and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman were buoyed by a surge of independent voters, who made up 45% of the GOP primary electorate, up from just over one-third in 2008. Independents in New Hampshire can vote in either party’s primary.” In other words: almost half of the people who participated in this GOP primary are individuals with no commitment to the good of the Republican Party and in fact many likely cast their ballots with malice in their hearts, eagerly awaiting the day when the elephant goes the way of whigs and the bull moose.
2. “But Mr. Romney outpolled Mr. Santorum even in a group considered his natural constituency—born-again and evangelical Christians.” This is a surprising but encouraging sign.
3. “Abortion and health care barely registered when voters were asked what issues were most important in deciding whom to support. That played to Mr. Romney’s strength, as a solid plurality of voters who said the economy was their top concern supported him.”
4. “Eight in ten voters said the debates were important to their decisions.” Don’t think for a second that this number will be so high during the general election presidential debates.
5. “Among people who were registered as independent, Mr. Romney and Mr. Paul each drew around a third of the vote, and outpolled Mr. Huntsman. The only group Mr. Huntsman won was the small cadre of Democrats who switched their registration to GOP in order to vote in the primary.” That would of course be the New Hampshire branch of the Rachel Maddow Fan Club.
6. “The most recent Gallup Poll finds that nearly 60% of both conservative and moderate Republicans consider Romney ‘acceptable’ as a nominee.”
7. “And the results of a new CBS News poll find Romney the only Republican candidate to win a hypothetical head-to-head against Barack Obama.”
From The Daily Beast:
8. “For example, Romney won Catholic voters despite running against two Catholic candidates, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich.” Ouch. My Catholic, Santorum-supporting friends must be annoyed by that.
9. “Romney even won Tea Party supporters, despite the long-simmering distrust over what his detractors call RomneyCare.” Perhaps a sign that gradually more Tea Partiers have made peace with the inevitability of a Romney candidacy?