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Second-Place Paul Beats Expectations With N.H. Tally03:01
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Texas Rep. Ron Paul exceeded expectations in Tuesday night's New Hampshire primary, coming in second with 23 percent of the vote. Political observers say that's as high as Paul will go in any state, but his campaign said everyone underestimates Paul's reach.

Shortly after former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney gave his victory speech, Paul took the stage at his primary party.

"We're nibbling at Mitt Romney's heels," he said, and then giggled.

The 76-year-old doctor looked impish as he worked up the crowd.

"I sort of have to chuckle when they call you and me dangerous. That's one thing where they're telling the truth. We are dangerous — to the status quo."

The room of mostly 20-somethings erupted in applause.

"And we will remain a danger to the Federal Reserve system as well," Paul added.

"End the Fed! End the Fed!" chanted the crowd.

Paul is referring to one of the more popular ideas: to abolish the Federal Reserve. He also wants to immediately bring U.S. troops home and terminate the Environmental Protection Agency.

Paul is flying to South Carolina Wednesday and is scheduled to hold a rally at noon.

"South Carolina is certainly more challenging than New Hampshire. It's a different demographic," said New Hampshire state Sen. Jim Forsythe, who chaired Paul's campaign in the Granite State. "But we do have momentum on our side."

Paul's national press secretary, Gary Howard, said other Republicans and the media have underestimated Paul all along, and said they will likely dismiss his second-place finish in New Hampshire.

"It's fine if they keep saying that we have a ceiling or we won't go far, it just gives us motivation to keep doing what we're doing," Howard said.

Many supporters, however, are resigned to Romney winning the nomination. Bruce Nance drove up from Pennsylvania to attend the party.

"By the time that decision comes, [Ron Paul] will have garnered so much support in the electorates that it will be a very slim margin that they nominate Romney, but Mittens is going to get nominated, because he has so much going for him in the pocket," Nance said.

Paul has said he's not planning on running as a third party candidate, but his supporters say they'd write in Paul's name or just not vote.

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This program aired on January 11, 2012.

Bianca Vázquez Toness Twitter Reporter
Bianca Vázquez Toness was formerly a report for WBUR.

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