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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Romney and Santorum Finish Iowa in a Dead Heat



I don't remember a close finish in the Republican Presidential Primaries.

According to the latest figures available, Mitt Romney has 30,015 to Rick Santorum's 30,007...a mere 8 votes currently separate them! Romney and Santorum are both headed to New Hampshire to be sparring partners for one another. The Ap projects that Romney will have 13 delegates and Santorum will have 12 delegates from this contest, which is non-binding. The real selection will be made in June at the state convention of the Republican Party of Iowa.



While Romney and Santorum split 50% of the vote between them, 22% went to Ron Paul. He was neck and neck with the other two during the night until the college towns had reported in, then he began to slide back in relation to the leaders. Ron Paul declared victory and announced that he is going to take the fight to New Hampshire, where Romney has a 2 to 1 lead over the next contender.


The second tier of candidates were Newt Gingrich, who finished fourth with 16,251 votes (14%) and Rick Perry, who gathered 12,604 votes (11%). Both men kept this proprtion of the vote throughout the night. Gingrich promises a bloodbath for Romney in South Carolina while Perry is returning to Texas to write his exit strategy.


The third tier of finshers were Michele Bachmann, Jon Huntsman and a tiny core of hangers on for Herman Cain. 


Michele Bachmann managed to attract a mere 6,073 votes (5%) as she fell from the heady heights that winning the Ames Straw Poll gave her this past summer. In her speech, she sounded defiant, ready to carry on the fight to another state. Jon Huntsman finished last among the active candidates, with 745 votes (less than 1%). He has reaped what he has sown with his service as Ambassador to China for the Obama Administration. He believed it to be a path to the White House. Instead he found himself in oblivion.


What Does It Mean?
Iowa is the first stop in the Republican Party nomination process that weeds out the incompetent candidates. For the first tier of finishers (Romney, Santorum and Paul), it is validation that they can manage a campaign and have the infrastructure to manage the logistics of getting out to many small communities to get their message out to the voters. These candidates all have proven that they deserve to be heard and that their message has some amount of traction with Republican voters.

For the second tier (Gingrich and Perry), it serves as notice that they must step up their game or forever find themselves in the "also ran" category.

The third tier finishers (Bachmann and Huntsmann) should quietly exit stage left unless they have a large war chest of donations, got into the race very late, or for some odd reason, chose to make the nearly always fatal mistake of ignoring the Iowa contest.


Candidate Videos

Here are videos of the candidates (where available) reacting to their finish last night.



Mitt Romney







Rick Santorum







Ron Paul







Newt Gingrich







Rick Perry







Michele Bachmann







There was no video uploaded of a Jon Huntsman speech on the Iowa results, so I'll let this interview stand for Jon Huntsman...who is toast any way you slice it in the 2012 presidential race.



The Next Race


The next primary is New Hampshire, where Mitt Romney is the favorite to win on January 10th. It will be interesting to see how  things play out, especially if Newt Gingrich has decided to go negative and attempt to bleed the Mitt Romney campaign in a self-destructive orgy of negative campaigning.


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