The Washington Times - January 7, 2012, 03:30PM

New Hampshire’s cigar smokers have spoken, and they like Mitt Romney.

The former Massachusetts governor won 43 percent of the votes cast at the Federal Cigar Shop in Portsmouth, N.H., which has held a “matchbook vote” in every presidential election year since the 1960s.


Mr. Romney received 191 of the 449 votes cast. Texas Rep. Ron Paul came in second with 88 votes, or 20 percent. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was third, followed by former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. Cigar shop owner Rick Gadaway said no other candidates received a significant number of votes.

He told the Concord Monitor that the cigar store’s informal balloting has been 80 percent accurate in predicting the winner of New Hampshire’s primaries. The store polled customers from Dec. 10 until Friday.

Customers vote by placing a matchbook in a bag below a photo of their favorite candidate.