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Romney Takes Iowa by 8 Votes

Iowa GOP Caucus Vote Totals: (from CNN politics)

Romney – 30,015 Santorum – 30,007 R.Paul – 26,219 Gingrich – 16,251

Perry – 12,604 Bachmann – 6,073 Huntsman – 745

In the closest primary election in modern America history, Mitt Romney edged Rick Santorum by just 8 votes in Tuesday night’s Iowa GOP caucus vote. Santorum’s surprising surge to a second place finish is a testament to the tireless campaigning that took him to every corner of the state, especially considering that Santorum had only raised $700,000 for his campaign from July – September, a period that saw Mitt Romney raise over $17 million. Ron Paul’s third place showing has to be largely disappointing, considering the amount of money he spent in Iowa. (reported to be $344,00 in Iowa alone) The same could be said of Rick Perry, who plunked down $452,000 for a fifth place finish in Iowa and was last seen heading back to Texas to reassess his campaign.

All told, the GOP candidates spent $1.24 million on Iowa ads leading up to Christmas. Up next is the Jan. 10th New Hampshire primary where Romney is expected to have an easy win due to the fact that he is the former Governor of Massachusetts, which is right next door. Then the candidates will square off in South Carolina on Jan. 21st where the top slot is largely up for grabs in the latest polls, and will be sure to be a hotly contested battle. After South Carolina, the candidates will do battle in the very important swing state of Florida on Jan 31st.

Candidates statements following the Iowa caucus results announcement:

Michelle Bachmann vowed to fight on despite a poor 6th place showing in Iowa, stating, “I believe that I am that true conservative who can and who will defeat Barack Obama in 2012,” she told supporters at her Iowa campaign headquarters. “And over the next few days, just be prepared, the pundits and the press will again try to pick the nominee based on tonight’s results. But there are many more chapters to be written on the path to our party’s nomination and I prefer to let the people of the country decide who will represent us.” She is scheduled to be in South Carolina next without any reported plans of trying to do any serious campaigning in New Hampshire.

Rick Santorum thanked all of his Iowa supporters and finished with the statement, “By standing up and not compromising, by standing up and being bold and leading, leading with that burden and responsibility you have to be first, you have taken the first step to taking back this country,” Santorum’s fund-raising has surged right along with his Iowa support, which has given his campaign a new life, albeit a probably temporary one, as he isn’t expected to do well in N.H.

Rick Perry thanked his supporters and then stated that he was heading back to Texas to reassess his campaign, possibly signaling the end of the Perry campaign for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination.

Newt Gingrich congratulated Rick Santorum on running a great campaign while telling his supporters, “We survived the biggest onslaught in the history of the Iowa primary,” Gingrich said. “I admire how positive [Santorum] was,” the former Speaker added. “I wish I could say that about all the candidates.”
But despite the disappointing finish, Gingrich vowed to stay in the race told supporters and said a “new battle begins” after Iowa. The reported $4 to 5 million dollars in attack ads run by Ron Paul and Mitt Romney against Newt Gingrich in Iowa certainly took it’s toll on the former Speaker of the House.

Mitt Romney, who hadn’t done much campaigning in Iowa until the last few weeks, seemed unfazed by nearly being upset by Santorum in Iowa, stating that he had only had 5 staffers in Iowa this year, as compared to the 52 staffers he had there in his 2008 campaign. That statement would seem to portray that Iowa just isn’t really all that important as far as actually winning the GOP presidential nomination is concerned.( In Romney’s camp)

Ron Paul thanked his supporters for the “fantastic showing” they had at the caucus. (3rd place) He also highlighted some of his campaign platforms for the cheering crowd. “You’re doing this because you believe in something,” Paul said.

Jon Huntsman has also vowed to fight on, and seemed to make a subtle play for some of Rick Perry’s supporters as he stated upon hearing the Perry was reassessing his campaign, “Mary Kaye and I have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for our friends Rick and Anita Perry. As he returns to Texas, where he implemented the kind of pro-growth policies that our country desperately needs and President Obama failed to deliver, we wish Rick and his family all the best.”

On to New Hampshire, which is located in the Northeastern United States, and consists of a very different type of voters than Iowa.

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