[Updated at 8:23 p.m. ET] CNN projects that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will win the 2012 New Hampshire Republican primary, and that U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas will finish second, based on exit polls and early returns.
CNN also projects that former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman will finish third.
All New Hampshire polls were closed as of 8 p.m. ET.
While Romney's victory was expected, based on polling in recent weeks, the battle for second place loomed as the most hotly contested result, with implications for the next primary in South Carolina on January 21.
Huntsman told CNN that he would stay in the race if he finishes third or higher, indicating he would contest the South Carolina primary.FULL STORY