Caucus results in Iowa
January 04, 2012
Topics: 2012 Presidential Election;
Yesterday's Iowa caucuses resulted in an extremely close race between Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, which Romney won by eight total votes. Over 120,000 votes were counted yesterday, meaning that Romney's margin of victory was about one one thousandth of one percent. It was probably the closest primary vote in history, for either party in any state.
Although Romney technically won the state, most of the momentum appears to have swung in Santorum's favor. Romney has been the only consistent front runner in the presidential campaign so far, so he was more or less expected to win. Santorum polled in the low single digits since he announced his campaign, and only began to rise in the polls last week. In other words, he was the underdog, and Romney was expected to crush him. The fact that he came so close to winning is causing many people to give him a second look.
Ron Paul was not far behind, and placed a clear third, only about four points behind Romney and Santorum. Paul's campaign regards his position as a successful one, keeping him within striking distance of the leaders and well ahead of the others.
After Ron Paul, the drop-off is very steep, with Newt Gingrich placing fourth, followed by Rick Perry and Michelle Bachmann. Bachmann has already announced that she is ending her campaign, and Perry appears to be on the verge of dropping out as well.
Santorum, Bachmann, and Perry draw much of their support from evangelical Christians, so it is likely that Bachmann's departure will boost Santorum. If Perry drops out, it will probably boost Santorum even further, though some of Perry's supporters may be more inclined towards Romney.
The other wildcard is former Utah governor Jon Huntsman, who did not even campaign in Iowa, but appears poised to do well in New Hampshire next week.
Although the race looks very close right now, it is possible that it could change in a heartbeat. Already three previous front runners have dropped out altogether (Tim Pawlenty in August; Herman Cain in December; and Michelle Bachmann today). It is also possible that Mitt Romney could win the nomination very easily. He has already won Iowa, and he is polling in first place in New Hampshire. If he wins there, it is quite possible that he could coast all the way to the nomination while the other candidates slowly drop out.
Who do you think will win? Who do you want to win? Leave a comment with your opinion.