Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.
"What's going to be hilarious is when the defeated pretend to endorse the candidate they just got done slandering."
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney remains in the spotlight as the GOP front-runner after winning the New Hampshire primary. With 95% of precincts reporting, Romney received nearly 40% of the vote in Tuesday's balloting. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas picked up 23%, and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman garnered 17%.
Romney received a lot of criticism from readers – among them liberals, independents and Republicans who didn't vote for the politician. Still, a selection of some readers' remarks illustrates not only why Romney has been successful so far in this unusual GOP race but also why Paul has made a strong showing as well.
If you have thoughts on New Hampshire's outcome, be sure to share these views on video at CNN iReport as well as in the comments area below.
People who spoke in favor of Romney often talked about change.
Florida425: "I voted for President Obama last election, but I will be voting for Romney this time around. President Obama has had time to turn things around, and I haven’t seen enough to re-elect him. Go Mitt!"
A few readers said backing Romney represents support for moderate policies within the Republican Party.
CincyIndep: "A Romney win is a rejection of the tea party's extremism. They've done everything they can to get rid of him and the rest of the Republican Party and independents keep him in there. It's a battle for the Republican Party's soul, and the moderates are winning. Our country has had just about enough of the tea party (and far-left) extremism. Let no group in our society rule us all of the time."
Some assessments were more lukewarm.
rsmnr: "At least this is not such a scary prospect like Michele Bachmann or Herman Cain or Rick Perry."
Samilcar: "Romney is the Republican John Kerry."
Others said that a Romney win doesn't say much.
No9: "Willard Romney, the least offensive of a very offensive bunch. Nice way to pick a candidate. ... This should be fun."
agent13: "Hi, I'm Mitt Romney and I'm the least offensive candidate."
Some commenters strongly opposed Romney, saying he was less than an ideal candidate.
gofigure063: "Does Romney even realize the only reason he is moving forward is because the GOP pick is not exactly the best?"
Liberals2012: "I wouldn't even let the GOP pick a fresh banana for me."
One reader said the current political environment does not work in favor of the GOP.
kgbpazan: "The core problem for GOP challengers is that they cannot be respectable Republicans because, as (New York Times columnist Paul) Krugman pointed out, Obama has that position occupied. They are forced to move so far to the right that they render themselves inherently absurd."
Some Romney critics have characterized him as a "flip-flopper," and many commenters referred to his evolving positions on issues over the years.
yooobetcha: "Is this the same Romney that was pro-choice before he ran for president? ... Romney has flip-flopped so many times, he should be debating himself."
A few readers criticized Romney's speech after his primary win, but many said they liked it quite a bit.
rawpimple: "Actually loved that speech by Romney! He has won over this independent! Made the mistake of voting for Obama last time. I will not make the same mistake twice. The independents will decide this election. Hopefully, they all will follow suit!"
CNN iReporter Egberto Willies of Kingwood, Texas, called the speech brilliant but disagreed on one point, saying he didn't want to see past economic principles come back. He also said income and wealth disparity is worse than it used to be.
"If America will be so gullible to decide, let us give supply-side economics a try again," Willies said. "After all, 30 years of this has given us income and wealth disparity. The numbers are out there. Mitt Romney is promising us the same medicine again."
Another reader from Europe took offense.
kitano: "Going from thinking Mitt Romney was maybe OK, or at least better than the other GOP candidates, as a European, I find this whole speech enormously offensive. First of all, to imply that Europe is this one place where every country is the same is ridiculous. Secondly, to imply that Europe is somehow terrible, spoiled and entitled is amazingly insulting. And thirdly, why is it necessary to constantly talk about how America is the greatest country in the world in order to win an election here? Why must American politicians constantly assert it's best and put everyone else down? Imagine if you were at school and there was one kid who was always saying he was best. Everyone would hate that kid! We all share the world, and Obama at least attempted to build some bridges."
Plenty of readers said they want a different direction for the country, and they talked about how neither Obama nor Romney was offering what they were seeking. Among them were supporters of Paul.
MIRNDA: "Does anyone remember the Constitution? It was a well-thought out, well-written document to protect our certain rights, freedoms and beliefs. Ron Paul seems to be the only one who not only remembers the Constitution but would be willing to live and rule by it! The corrupt bunch of puppets we have had in positions of too much power, have ignored our Constitution for their own gain!"
Another reader outlined what voters should be looking for in a candidate.
Bosmonkey: "I am registered as independent. I am not liking what Obama has done. Not all of it is his fault. He inherited problems (mortgage crisis is the single biggest thing that caused the economic downturn and continued problem), but he has also caused some. ... I wish there was someone I could get completely behind. The only one close right now is Ron Paul – I think.
We need: 1) a smaller federal government, 2) to get out of these wars 3) to take care of our immigration problem and put our soldiers at our ports and borders for security 4) close tax loopholes and reduce deductions 5) to increase revenue so we have a balanced budget and lower out debt, or stop increasing the debt ceiling 6) reduce spending.
We do not need: 1) Cuts in corporate tax, estate tax, tax on wealthy 2) to mess with Roe v. Wade 3) to get involved in other countries or police the world 4) for the Feds to get involved in gay marriage or civil unions 5) for the Feds to continue to be involved in health care. It's a state-by-state issue."
Some folks also mentioned Huntsman.
annsrum: "Man, I sure hope people are able to learn about Huntsman before it is too late. Romney is a terrible choice. And the others aren't any better."
But some noted that Huntsman didn't make a strong showing and should get behind Paul.
Etilop: "Huntsman tried to spin it, but this is a big loss for him. After spending six months in New Hampshire, the best he could do was a distant third place. He needs to drop out and endorse Ron Paul."
Sphy: "It seems to me that if you want to vote 'Not Romney' your only path to beating him is through Ron Paul. Those Paulites are certainly not going to back (Rick) Santorum/Huntsman/Newt (Gingrich), so the only way to get over that hump is Paul. ..."
Huntsman received support from readers who weren't Republicans.
shiloweyes: "I am Democrat. I would have considered voting for Huntsman because he is genuine and experienced, and because I am disappointed in Obama. There is no way I am voting for Romney. This country does not need an arrogant venture capitalist who only cares about corporations. If the middle class votes this fake in, they get what they deserve, which is the decimation of the middle class. I truly believe in my lifetime I will see a second-class America. It is very sad."
Other commenters mentioned some candidates seem to be fading away.
reddog9500: " 'We're going to go all out to win South Carolina. We think that's a key state for us,' Gingrich said. ...
The only state that Gingrich is in is a state of denial. All he's doing is being a spoiler against someone (Romney or Paul) who really has a chance at being nominated."
Peshwar: "Now is the time for Gingrich, Santorum and (Rick) Perry to hang it up. They have been destructive to the GOP campaign and must drop out. They are not electable, have no public support and cannnot beat Obama!"
But one commenter wanted the competition to stay around.
Brooons: "Hang in there Gingrich, Santorum and Perry! Keep up the bulldoggin'! Romney is not the guy!"
Some readers said Obama had failed to represent the public interest.
Tacjam4: "Time for Obama to hit the road! Thanks to this loser, for the first time in history our country owes more money than our GDP! Instead of cutting and fixing the problem, he wants to borrow more money! Get him out of the White House before he destroys the country he cares nothing about."
Some readers indicated that New Hampshire voters may not represent the whole country.
catallergy: "Romney can't even get over 40% of the vote right near his home state. Those voters are supposed to be his Republican base up there. They see right through him, just like the rest of us."
sumguy2006: "Independents vote in New Hampshire. That skews a primary. Duh. 40% is pretty darn good."
Binky42: "There are no real options for a Republican nominee. That's why no one has taken a majority vote in the primaries. Most Republicans are just thinking, 'Meh!' "
Another reader cited geography as a factor in the former Massachusetts governor's win.
rachbell: "Just saw a New Hampshire voter say he'd vote for Romney because he wants someone from the Northeast in the White House. Which goes to show you Obama should keep pushing education, because this guy needs a lesson in geography and political science. Romney was the worse thing that happened to Massachusetts. He used this state as a steppingstone to the White House. Send him back to Michigan."
And finally, this reader said Romney's success spells good news for independents.
sumguy2006: "The Democrats will hate Romney getting the nomination. They will not be able to throw around the tea party slurs. (The) fact is the independents will decide the next election. Everything else is just noise. Who do you think they will vote for?"
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Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.