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Mitt Romney Turns Attention to South Carolina

Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

Suffolk University’s final two-day tracking poll, released today, had Romney well in front of his rivals with 37 percent. Paul was second in that survey at 18 percent; Huntsman was nipping at his heels with 16 percent. Santorum and Gingrich brought up the rear with 11 percent and 10 percent, respectively. Perry, who did not campaign in New Hampshire and went straight to South Carolina after the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses, registered 1 percent.

Romney’s success was demonstrated in exit polling statistics reported by Fox News at 6 p.m. According to the network, Romney was winning among voters who decided late with 29 percent, a key metric given New Hampshire’s history of upsetting frontrunners who were leading in the polls heading into Election Day.

Romney also had a slim, though statistically insignificant, lead among independent voters, who can vote in Granite State primaries and whom the surging Huntsman heavily courted. In fact, the Fox News exit poll showed that independents constituted 44 percent of Tuesday’s electorate, and Romney garnered 30 percent of that vote, while Paul received 29 percent and Huntsman 27 percent.

Meanwhile, Fox News exit polling showed that 67 percent of voters were satisfied with the GOP candidate field, and Romney was winning that category as well. Romney also won among voters whose top priority was defeating Obama in November.

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