After GOP pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Mitt Romney won the New Hamp­shire pri­mary, we asked jour­nalism pro­fessor Alan Schroeder in the Col­lege of Arts, Media and Design, who has authored a book on pres­i­den­tial debates, to pre­dict the short-​​term future of the race for the White House. 

Retail cam­paigning, whereby can­di­dates make con­tact with voters, has char­ac­ter­ized the Iowa caucus and the New Hamp­shire pri­mary, but what fac­tors will most influ­ence voters going forward?

I think adver­tising become a huge part of the for­mula as the cam­paign moves into South Car­olina and other states. We’ve already seen that both the Mitt Romney and Newt Gin­grich super PACs are dumping mil­lions into South Car­olina to buy ads. In Gingrich’s, case, they’re largely anti-​​Romney ads about Bain Cap­ital, the Boston– based alter­na­tive asset man­age­ment and finan­cial ser­vices firm cofounded by Romney; in Romney’s case, they’re more defensive.

The cam­paign will move from town halls, living rooms and diners to an elec­tronic realm. Spending mil­lions of dol­lars in a state like South Car­olina means that the cam­paigns are going to carpet-​​bomb the air­waves. Once you move past Iowa and New Hamp­shire, the train starts moving pretty quickly down the tracks and you just don’t have time for retail politics.

How will charges that Romney prof­ited while slashing jobs as chief exec­u­tive of Bain Cap­ital affect the race?

It’s pretty clear that the Romney cam­paign is starting to panic about the Bain Cap­ital charges. It was cer­tainly expecting the Obama cam­paign to make that a cen­ter­piece of its strategy, but not that other Repub­li­cans would join in on the attack. You’re now seeing a cir­cling of the wagons, with top politi­cians and media mem­bers coming to Romney’s side. In his vic­tory speech Tuesday, he directly assailed the Repub­li­cans making those charges, so clearly these argu­ments about being a vul­ture and a job-​​killer have struck a nerve with the Romney campaign.

It looks like that topic is going to move into South Car­olina. Gin­grich will be putting a 30-​​minute film on the air­waves that is very crit­ical of Romney and Bain, which will include inter­views with people from the state who had lost their jobs. I think this is going to con­tinue to be a real thorn in Romney’s side going forward.

Jon Huntsman bet it all in New Hamp­shire, but fin­ished in a rather dis­ap­pointing third place, behind both Romney and Ron Paul, who gar­nered nearly 23 per­cent of the vote. Where do the second and third place can­di­dates go from here?

In his speech Tuesday night, Huntsman referred to the results as his “ticket to ride,” but I don’t see how that’s going to get him to South Car­olina, let alone the states beyond that. When you’ve spent all your time in one state and then only get about 17 per­cent of the vote, that’s not a good showing. He really needed to do what Rick San­torum did in Iowa: come from behind, have a really big showing and then con­vince people he has the momentum to go for­ward. I don’t think Huntsman did that.

And it seems clear now that Ron Paul isn’t going to be the Repub­lican nom­inee. But the fact that he’s get­ting about a quarter of the vote in each state — and big sup­port from younger voters — is showing that he’s still rel­e­vant. After it’s clear to everyone that Romney is going to be the nom­inee, the Repub­li­cans are going to have to figure out a way to tap into his very orga­nized and very vocal base.