Mitt Romney scored a decisive victory in New Hampshire, with Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman finishing a distant second and third. The state’ s independent voters came out in higher numbers than in 2008 and played a key role. Unlike past New Hampshire primaries, which cleared the field of weaker candidates, all the major contenders are staying in for now. This could make it difficult for those opposed to Romney to rally behind an alternative. The race now moves to South Carolina, a more conservative state that has picked the winner of every GOP nomination contest since 1980. If Romney prevails there, the race could be over. Read related article.