Mitt Romney, third from left, speaks as, from left, John Huntsman, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry look on during Sunday morning’s NBCNews/Facebook Republican Debate at the Capitol Center For The Arts’ Chubb Theater in Concord.
(JOSH GIBNEY/UNION LEADER)
From Union Leader:
A long and grueling 2012 New Hampshire primary campaign comes to an end Tuesday when an estimated 325,000 Granite Staters go to the polls, with most choosing the man they want to have oppose President Barack Obama in the fall general election campaign.
The Democrats are having a primary, too, but it is a formality. Obama is not opposed in New Hampshire — or anywhere for that matter — by any significant challengers.
As a result, Secretary of State William Gardner expects only 75,000 to vote in that primary as opposed to 250,000 in the Republican primary.
Registered independents, officially called undeclared voters, can vote in either primary (not both), but voters who are registered in one party cannot vote in the other party’s primary.
There are 30 Republicans and 14 Democrats on the New Hampshire Primary ballot, but as the GOP race comes to an end, the focus is on five men — Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry is also on the ballot, but, after a poor showing in the Iowa caucuses, he has bypassed New Hampshire to focus on the more socially conservative South Carolina, where Republicans will hold an important primary on Jan. 21.