Exit polling has found that John McCain's experience, his reputation for "straight talk" and appeal among moderates helped him beat Mitt Romney in New Hampshire's Republican primary. Romney did edge out McCain among the half of GOP primary voters who called themselves conservatives. But McCain won more handily among moderates and the roughly 10% who describe themselves as liberals. The surveys were conducted for the Associated Press and the television networks.
Registered independents, who could vote in either primary, proved to be more of a factor on the Republican side of the races.