The establishment GOP's candidate, Willard Mitt "Flip" Romney, won the caucus by only eight votes, and could not break the 25.19% margin of his second place finish in 2008 (Des Monies Register).
Rivals Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum waged a down-to-the-wire battle for the Iowa Republican caucuses Tuesday, but shortly after 1:30 a.m. today, Romney was declared the victor by eight votes.
Romney won 30,015 votes, compared with 30,007 for Santorum, out of 122,255 cast.
Each of the men won 25 percent of the vote and proclaimed victory.
Ron Paul was third, followed by Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann and Jon Huntsman.
In 2008, Romney received 30,021 votes, just a few more than he received last night. What's more, is that he won over Rick Santorum, who just a couple of weeks ago was near the back of the field.
What is Iowa going to mean for the rest of the primary? It's hard to tell, because I've heard some say that Iowa isn't really as economically challenged as other parts of the nation. Some have said South Carolina will be a better indicator. Others have pointed out that only three winners of the "Hawkeye Cauci" have been the GOP nominee. Because seriously, is this our top tier?
Rick Santorum, I like him and I agree with him. The problem is, he's known for the most part solely for social conservatism. I'm not trying to knock him for that, but that's just one of the "three legs" of conservatism. We need a well-rounded leader to meet Obama and offer a stark contrast to this failed President. We're trying to elect a President, not a preacher.
Romney is really not much different than Obama and would not offer the kind of change needed to turn us around. It's really bad that a nutjob like Ron Paul comes in third, but even worse when some names in the GOP say we shouldn't try to "marginalize" him. Are kidding me? Someone who said he wouldn't have fought World War II to end the Holocaust and who thinks we brought 9/11 on ourselves? He should not only be marginalized, he should be run out of the party, and it speaks to the failure of the national party leadership that he was taken as seriously as he was.
Newt is giving the signal he's going to hit Romney back for the negative ads. Good! Fight back, but just don't whine about the negative ads, because Flip's attacks are going to be nothing compared to the trash that will come from the Obama/Axlerod/Lapdog Media axis. Whoever the nominee is needs to be prepared for it.
Rick Perry, who disappointingly finished fifth, says he's going to reflect on what to do. I think he should stay in and make South Carolina his last stand, while retooling his message and focusing on his job creation in Texas. It really is a shame that someone who has successfully led what can be seen as the 13th biggest economy finished fifth while a nut job like RuPaul is in third.
Michele Bachmann and (especially) the putrid Jon Huntsman need to exit stage left. If Bachmann finished last in her birth state where she won the straw poll back in August, the writing is on the wall. Pack up your Tanya Harding knee-club and go back to Congress to fight Obama on the Hill, Michele.
For some "on the ground" reports, Robert Stacy McCain is driving a really cool car in Iowa, and reports that the Santorum campaign "exceeded expectations."
Yet the establishment GOP doesn't get the message is expecting us to do what JC Watts said of Republicans: “We don’t fall in love. We fall in line." Politico says 2008 loser John McLame is endorsing....Flip Romney. Great job! The guy who couldn't beat me in 2008 should lead the party against Obama in 2012. Sorry, but from the polls last night, and after five years of campaigning, Romney hasn't sealed the deal, which speaks volumes about his weakness as a candidate. Yet, the GOP is pushing him because they stick to their spoils system instead of picking the best qualified.
I've said it before, but if you want to know what 1980 would have been like if Ronald Reagan decided the naysayers were right about his age and decided not to run, 2012 is the year.