Mitt Romney has been declared the winner in the New Hampshire Republican primary, making him the first-ever non-incumbent Republican to win both Iowa and New Hampshire. It is the best result he could have hoped for, with Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) projected to come in second and former Utah governor Jon Huntsman third.. Neither Paul or Huntsman is going to be the nominee. The more viable contenders are further back in the back. That’s going to provide some confidence to the Romney camp that the competition is getting weaker, not stronger.

In addition, Huntsman’s disappointing finish may be enough to discourage him from going for much longer, which could remove competition for Romney for the centrist Republican vote. It’s a bad night for the candidates who climbed onto the anti-Bain bandwagon, and yet another sign that the mainstream media (which imagined Romney would be wounded by such attacks) really has no clue about GOP politics.