Iowa Caucus results, January 4, 2012, Romney edges Santorum by 8 votes, Ron Paul third
From the AP
|Results for Iowa Republican Caucus (U.S. Presidential Primary)|
|Jan 03, 2012 (100% of precincts reporting)|
From CBS News January 4, 2012.
“Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney eked out a narrow victory over former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum in the Iowa caucuses Tuesday, winning the first contest for the Republican presidential nomination, the Hawkeye state’s Republican party chairman Matt Strawn said early Wednesday morning after a long night with the two candidates in a dead heat.
Santorum pulled off a stunning come from behind performance in Tuesday’s Iowa caucuses, garnering just eight fewer votes than a much better funded and better organized Romney in the closest Iowa contest since the modern caucuses were formed in 1976.
It’s a tie so Santorum wins
“Game on,” Santorum told supporters gathered in Johnston, Iowa in what amounted to a victory speech before the results were announced.
The devout Catholic father of seven vowed to take his social conservative message to New Hampshire, which holds the first binding vote on January 10. The Iowa caucuses are non-binding.
“With your help and God’s grace, we will have another fun night a week from now,” Santorum said after offering congratulations to Romney, who now appears headed toward the nomination. Romney is widely expected to win in New Hampshire, where he owns a vacation home.
Analysis: Romney’s race to lose
If Romney wins in the Granite state, he would be the first non-incumbent president to win both Iowa and New Hampshire since their 1976 establishment as critical early states in the nominating process.
Santorum won the support of 30,007 caucus-goers, giving him 25 percent support, while Romney won 30,015 votes — also 25 percent, Strawn said.
Ron Paul finished in third place 21 percent support. Just weeks ago, Santorum was at the bottom of opinion polls.
Romney offered his congratulations to Santorum, while focusing mostly on President Obama and the general election in his remarks, also made before the final tally was announced.
“This has been a great victory for him and for his effort. He’s worked very hard in Iowa. We also feel it’s been a great victory for us here,” Romney said.
After finishing in a disappointing fifth place with 10 percent of the vote, Rick Perry told his supporters Tuesday night in Iowa he would return to his home state of Texas to “determine whether there is a path forward for me in this race.”
Santorum’s strong finish, pulled off on a shoe-string budget, validated the more than 100 days he spent engaged in retail campaigning across the state of Iowa. It also proved that conservative voters are still wary of Romney — whose resources on the campaign trail far surpassed Santorum’s — in spite of perceptions that he would be the most viable Republican presidential candidate.
Santorum thanked Iowans for “standing up and being bold and leading.”
He added, “What wins in American are bold ideas, sharp contrasts and a plan that includes everyone… A plan that says we will work together to get America to work.””