Mitt Romney Wins Bigger in NH Than John McCain Did

Mitt Romney won a decisive victory in New Hampshire on Tuesday night - more decisive, in fact, than his former rival's win in 2008.

With 77 percent of precincts reporting statewide Tuesday night, Romney had swept every county in New Hampshire except for Coos, which Ron Paul carried.

Romney's margin of victory (16 percentage points) figured to be far wider, at night's end, than John McCain's margin of five percentage points in 2008, when the former Arizona defeated Mitt Romney in the Granite State.

Four years ago, McCain won New Hampshire with 37 percent of the vote to Romney's 32 percent. Late Tuesday, Romney had won 38 percent of New Hampshire's vote, while his closest competitor, Ron Paul, had 23 percent. In 2008, McCain won every county but two - Hillsborough and Rockingham - both of which Romney carried.

County by county, Romney's 2012 vote share was perhaps less impressive than McCain's in 2008.

Romney bested McCain's 2008 vote share in only one county that McCain won in 2008 - Belknap. He bested McCain's margin of victory in three of the eight counties that McCain won - Sullivan, Belknap, and Carroll.

In the two southern New Hampshire counties Romney carried in 2008, he expanded both his margin of victory and his percent vote share this year.

In Hillsborough, Romney took a 10-percentage-point, 35 percent win over McCain in 2008 and turned it into a 9-percentage-point, 41 percent win over Paul in 2012. In Rockingham, where he defeated McCain 37 percent to 36 percent in 2008, Romney had bested Paul by a margin of 44 percent to 22 percent in 2012, with three quarters of New Hampshire's votes already counted.