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New Hampshire GOP primary: Fight for second

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NASHUA, NH--Who's on second? With GOP White House Mitt Romney expected to trounce his competition in the Tuesday primary here, the battle is for second--and third.

At the race track, the "win" bet pays no matter if the pony is ahead by only a nose. For Romney--especially after his eight-vote photofinish in Iowa over Santorum--his expected Tuesday GOP presidential primary win here will be subject to Talmudic interpretation.

"If Mitt Romney doesn't get over 50 percent on Tuesday here, being a former governor of the state right next door and having a family home here, then there's something seriously wrong," said Democratic National Committee Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fl.). Reprising the role she took on in Iowa, she traveled to New Hampshire to continue to ding Romney--the candidate the Obama team is expecting to win the GOP nomination.

That's classic raising the bar. Polls show Romney closing the New Hampshire primary in great shape--but not over 50 percent.

Real Clear Politics average of polls on Monday:

38.5 Romney
19.8 Paul
11.5 Huntsman
11.5 Santorum
9.5 Gingrich
1.0 Perry

The final WMUR New Hampshire Primary poll:

41 Romney
17 Paul
11 Huntsman
11 Santorum
8 Gingrich

Suffolk University /7News Tracking

33 Romney
20 Paul
13 Huntsman
10 Santorum
11 Gingrich
01 Perry

"All of the candidates behind Romney have a good chance finishing anywhere between second and fifth place," said Andrew Smith, Director of the UNH Survey Center.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on January 9, 2012 11:23 AM.

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