POLITICS
01/10/2012 09:36 pm ET Updated Mar 11, 2012

HUFFPOST HILL - GOP Primary Heading South


What a boring night. Talking heads gushed about the "excitement" at Romney HQ, even though the energy level reminded us of intermission at a Capitol Steps concert. Jon Huntsman, clearly entering the denial stage of the Kubler-Ross grief model, giddily declared, "Ladies and gentlemen, I think we are in the hunt!" Ron Paul's concession speech should inspire the folks at Google Translate to add "Meandering Curmudgeon" as a language. Simply put, the New Hampshire primary was as exciting as the dude who won it. This is a special -- and we're using that term very liberally here -- HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, January 10th, 2012:

"There are no good pictures of me" - Karl Rove on Fox News.

IT WAS A SQUEAKER - No it wasn't:

(57.5% reporting)
Romney: 45,924 (37.4%)
Paul: 28,746 (LOVEMENTUM)
Huntsman: 20,855 (17.0%)
Santorum:12,065 (9.9%)
Gingirch: 11,980 (9.8%)
Perry: Doesn't matter.
Roemer: Close to Perry.

@MysteryPollster: Exit poll estimate now Mitt 39, Paul 23, Hunts 18, Newt 10, Santo 10 huff.to/y5p4ew

@EricFehm: No non-incumbent Republican has ever won BOTH Iowa and NH . . . until Romney.

EXIT POLLS - "Preliminary exit polls show that Mitt Romney appealed widely to voters to win the New Hampshire presidential primary and was widely viewed as the GOP's best hope to defeat President Barack Obama this fall. The former Massachusetts governor finished tops Tuesday among the 6 in 10 people saying the economy was their chief worry. He was also the runaway winner among voters saying their chief criterion in a candidate was finding someone to defeat Obama in November. Romney won easily among people considering themselves Republicans and conservatives, and did nearly as well among moderates. He shared the lead among independent voters with Texas Rep. Ron Paul." [AP]

NEW HUNTSMAN STRATEGY: GET DEMOCRATIC VOTES - Jon Huntsman has finally come around to what folks have been telling him for months: Republicans aren't into you, dude. Tonight he told Alternet's Adele Stan that his plan is to focus on open primaries where Democrats and independents can counterbalance the people in his own party who don't like him. Well, it's a plan. [Alternet]

Stephen Colbert is polling ahead of Huntsman in South Carolina.

NIGHT DOWNER - Associated Press: "A Senate panel advanced bills Tuesday that would require people laid off in South Carolina to pass a drug test to receive unemployment benefits, then volunteer 16 hours weekly with a charity or public agency to keep receiving a check. Though the panel heard testimony that both proposals would likely conflict with federal law, its chairman, Sen. Kevin Bryant, said afterward that doesn't matter. 'It's time to start pushing back,' said Bryant, R-Anderson. 'I can't base how I vote on a bill on what some activist, liberal judge is going to do.'" Some liberal judge is going to stop this sucker with an injunction...because of the Constitution... [AP]

TWITTERAMA

@delrayser: #fitnzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

@pareene: Someone better find those 87 Perry voters and take away their keys in case they try to drive home from the poll

@politicoroger: Huntsman on CNN: "We're going to go south from here." Uh, pick a different phrase, governor.

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