Tag Archives: Iowa caucuses

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.

"Game On:" SANTORUM WINS IOWA!! (sorta)

Rick Santorum opened his Iowa-closing speech by saying, “Game On!” alluding to his significant (almost) surprise ( to everyone but CDN) win in Iowa despite spending next to nothing, riding around in a borrowed pickup and being far down in the polls.

After the initial reports, CDN called the race for Santorum based on the remaining counties, their population and the results in those counties at that time. Later in the morning the Iowa GOP discovered missing ballots and mis-tallied votes that turned the tide and gave the victory to Romney.

Either way, those candidates will be sharing exactly the same number of delegates as Iowa is a caucus – not a primary. That means that the delegates are split based on proportion of votes received.

Santorum managed to beat all of the front-runners except Mitt Romney and he only lost to Romney by 8 votes. There had been speculation about Ron Paul’s organization in Iowa, Mitt Romney’s electability, Rick Perry’s money and more – none of it mattered.

Santorum used old-school retail politics to meet, great and endear voters. It is the kind of good, ole fashioned hard work that honest Americans can appreciate.

Shortly after the win in Iowa, Santorum’s web site was first not responding, then slow to respond due to the heavy traffic it was experiencing. It is highly likely that all the “anyone but Mitt” crowd has finally found a place to put their money and will be backing the former Senator from Pennsylvania.

New Hampshire will not be an easy place for Santorum to do well even with his new found treasury. There is not a lot of radio, tv or newspaper ad space for him to buy. Then again, he didn’t purchase much in Iowa.

It could come down to the fact that Santorum is much less polished and much more human than Romney. Rick may just show us that he can turn New Hampshire on its ear and put a second serious dent in Mitt’s “electability” crown. Mitt earned no more voters in 2012 than he did in 2008 – he has not grown his base.

Romney spent more money by far, he will do the same in New Hampshire. Newt has decided to take him on face-to-face with an aggressive ad in the morning edition of the Manchester Union Leader where he will compare himself to Mitt on critical voter issues. This and Santorum’s new cash could do enough damage to Romney in New Hampshire before heading into South Carolina where Rick Perry voters will likely move to Santorum.

Perry is re-evaluating his candidacy, Newt all but endorsed Santorum and Mitt failed to win his first race in 2012 by any appreciable margin. This is going to get exciting and be a fun ride.


Three tickets out of Iowa?

Throughout the day, pundits have been proclaiming that there would only be three tickets out of Iowa – the candidates that come in first, second and third in the state’s caucuses.

With 41% of Iowa voters answering that they had not made up their minds yet, election-watchers could be up for a wild ride. Take into account that Iowa is also a partial delegate state which means that the candidates will receive a number of delegates proportional to the number of votes they get, and it begs the question – why only three tickets?

With seven candidates in the race, should we expect that four will be finished once Iowa’s precincts report?

Romney, Santorum and Paul are widely expected to top the results, but Iowa has had surprises before and many in Iowa are still undecided.

Lately, Santorum has been soaring in Iowa polls and Perry has been retaking some of the ground he had lost during the fall debates. Judging by Gingrich’s stellar crash, it would appear that Santorum and Perry are benefiting the most from Newt’s fall.

So who might get the lucky three tickets out of Iowa? Rep. Bachmann says she already has her tickets, Romney isn’t predicting a win, Santorum is hopeful and Paul is hosting some rather large gatherings.

My prediction is that Santorum will pull out a surprise win with Paul close behind.  Romney and Gingrich will be fighting over what the election analysts insist is the crucial 3rd spot – I see Romney winning that spot. The 4th spot will be the actual watermark so there will actually be four tickets out of Iowa – a seat Perry or Gingrich could take.

If Perry takes the 4th spot, Gingrich will likely not have the funding to continue. If Gingrich takes that final seat, Perry might have the funds to continue for a bit, but a projected poor showing in New Hampshire and no chance for delegates in Virginia means it wouldn’t make much difference. That means Huntsman and Bachmann will be left to hitchhike or give up along with either Perry or Gingrich – we are but hours from finding out.

follow the Iowa Caucuses live blog for results and news

Iowa Caucus Results [Live Update]

It’s Tuesday night and the Iowa caucuses are getting set to open. The CDN staff is staying on top of the evening’s events to keep you informed and will be updating this post throughout the night (refresh for updates).

If you still aren’t quite sure how the Iowa caucuses work – here’s our step-by-step explanation.

If you’d like to see debate performances from 2011 – go here

For the latest 2012 election news – go here

Live Vote Returns from Iowa

Live Blog (all times Eastern)

  • 2:02a – FNC reporting that the corrections now give the win to Romney by 14 votes
  • 1:50a – 2 precincts from Story county may have under-reported Romney votes. Current margin is +4 votes for Santorum
  • 1:35a – ballots missing from Clinton county
  • 12:39a – Romney takes the stage “Rick Santorum ran a great campaign” and went after Obama
  • 12:17a – Santorum at podium: “Game On!” – “Thank you so much Iowa” – “We are off to New Hampshire”
  • 11:52p – Perry on stage: “This is what it’s all about” – “With prayer and reflection..” Perry to return to Texas to re-evaluate campaign.
  • 11:33p – Bachmann speaks: “I am not a politician”, “Barack Obama will be a one term president” – nope, not quitting either
  • 11:17p – Gingrich takes stage to speak: “We are at the beginning of an extraordinarily important campaign.” .. “On to New Hampshire” – not quitting
  • 11:04p – Ron Paul makes speech – “We will go on! We will raise money!”
  • 11:03p – Perry commits to skipping New Hampshire and heading for S.C. after Iowa.
  • 10:44p – Romney takes the lead – 25% to Santorum’s 24 and Paul’s 22
  • 10:33p – Gingrich will speak at about 11pm Eastern – dropping out?
  • 10:10p – The bottom three spots have remained static for 90 minutes
  • 10:00p – Paul drops out of lead, Santorum takes over with 125 vote lead over Romney
  • 9:42 – Paul takes lead in college precincts, Santorum gains in agriculture areas
  • 9:36 – “Other” surpasses Huntsman in total votes – top 3 spots still less than 1% apart
  • 9:27 – Romney, Paul and Santorum in dead heat
  • 9:10p – Romney leads at colleges, growing towns
  • 9:10p – Paul leads in wealthy suburbs
  • 9:10p – Santorum leads in cities, with immigrants and evangelicals
  • 9:00p – three way neck-and-neck race between Paul, Santorum and Romney
  • 8:33 – Votes start trickling in, Paul up strong in early returns
  • 8:15p – Mitt and Paul tied for first in entrance polls, Santorum third
  • 8:03p – Entrance polls show that Perry, Bachmann Gingrich, and Huntsman have no chance to win Iowa
  • 8:00p – Caucuses begin

How do the Iowa caucuses choose a candidate?

Starting at 8pm ET  tomorrow night, Iowans will gather in the state’s 1,774 precincts to start the process by which the Iowa convention will choose delegates to go choose delegates who will then choose .. yes, more delegates. How exactly does that work?

Held in places like schools, libraries and  private homes, the precinct gatherings start as a conference of sorts. Each candidate will have a selected representative that will do their best to convince caucus goers that their candidate is the best candidate to be the Republican nominee for president.

The caucus attendees must be registered republicans, but registration is allowed at the entrance. In a year where the democrat nominee is a foregone conclusion, many that vote democrat will cross-over to caucus in the republican events using this process.

Once the speeches are finished, the voters will be given a blank piece of paper upon which they will write the name of the candidate that they prefer. The votes will be tabulated and phoned into the precinct GOP office.

Based on the tallies, delegates from each precinct will be chosen to go to the county conventions. The number of delegates is directly proportional to the number of votes each candidate receives. From the Iowa GOP web site:

  • All caucus participants arrive at their precincts where they will sign in at the door upon arrival.  Caucuses will begin at 7:00PM CT.
  • The caucus meetings begin with the pledge of allegiance.  A caucus chair and secretary will be elected by the body to run the meeting and take notes.
  • After the chair and secretary are elected, candidate representatives from each campaign are given time to speak on behalf of their candidate.
  • Once the speakers have finished, sheets of paper are be passed out to every registered Iowa Republican from the precinct. Voters then write down their candidate preference.
  • All votes are then collected.
  • Every vote is counted.  The caucus chair and secretary will count the votes in front of the caucus and a representative from each campaign is allowed to observe the counting of the votes. The results are recorded on an official form provided by the Republican Party of Iowa and are announced to the caucus.
  • A caucus reporter is chosen to report the results to the Republican Party of Iowa, accompanied by campaign representatives to verify the results reported to Iowa GOP officials.
  • RPI officials do not count results; they aggregate them from around the state and report them to the media.  To ensure consistency in reporting, campaign representatives have the opportunity to be present with RPI officials as votes are reported to the public.
  • We will be reporting the votes for Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Buddy Roemer, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, “No Preference,” and “Other.”
  • “No Preference” votes include those who vote “present,” “no preference, “uncommitted,” or “none of the above.”
  • Within fourteen days of the caucus, certified results will be released for a complete breakdown of all caucus votes that were cast by precinct.
  • After the Presidential preference poll is completed the caucus will elect precinct committee representatives; delegates, alternates, and junior delegates to the county convention; and discuss and submit platform resolutions for consideration at the county convention.

At a later county convention, county delegates will be picked to go to the state convention where final delegates will be chosen to go to the Republican National Convention this fall in Tampa, Florida.

The Iowa delegates for the national convention aren’t actually chosen until the end of all of the primaries/caucuses. So while Iowa is the first in the nation to hold it’s preliminary election event, it is one of the very last to actually select delegates for the actual nomination event.

With 41% of Iowa voters still saying that they could be swayed, the caucuses tomorrow night could prove interesting. How cross-over voters might affect the nomination process is yet to be seen.


2012 GOP Primary: Iowa Caucuses are a Media Sham

The Republican roller-coaster ride, also known as the 2012 GOP Presidential primaries took another wild swing recently – this time into the dark tunnel known as Ron Paul Libertarianism as he leaped into the lead in some polls in Iowa last week.

The race currently appears to be a three-way cliff hanger between Romney, Gingrich, Santorum and Paul with Perry way back. Santorum’s recent rise to third place in the polling appears to have come at the expense of Gingrich, as $9 million dollars of attack ads run by Romney and Paul have also succeeded in pushing Gingrich backwards.

The Iowa caucuses are just a few days away, and basically there is no clear-cut frontrunner right now. Regardless of who wins in the Iowa caucuses, the only true beneficiary of this charade will be none other than the State of Iowa, as the economy has received a much needed boost from the roller-coaster ride of so many different candidates leading at one time or another, thus resulting in more campaign spending across the state. This appears to be the sole reason for the state of Iowa demanding to be first in line every year , with their caucus being held this year on Jan 3rd.

Should Ron Paul win Iowa, while it would give him some temporary momentum heading into the New Hampshire primaries, the chances of Paul beating the former Governor of Massachusetts in any Northeastern state are somewhere between slim and none. Mike Huckabee won Iowa too, and yet he was trampled in the big winner-take-all states of Florida, N.Y., and California. By the way, after Huckabee won the Iowa caucuses in 2008, John McCain won all of the Iowa delegates votes, as was written here at CNN Politics. “The history of the Iowa caucuses is actually a case study in the power of the media to shape — or warp, depending on your point of view — the nomination contest.”

While a victory in early Iowa gives the media plenty of firepower to skew the nominating process and manipulate voter’s perceptions of just who really is the best candidate, keep in mind that John McCain all but ignored the Iowa caucuses in 2008, yet won all of the Iowa delegates votes, as the majority of big states got behind McCain. Iowa has a history of falling in line with whatever candidate the establishment GOP pushes for later on in the election year. They also did this with Obama over Hillary in 2008, although Obama won the Iowa caucuses and the media used that to push for him over Hillary.

Mitt Romney is spending massive amounts of campaign cash in Iowa right up until the night of the caucus voting. Likewise with Ron Paul, Gingrich and now Santorum can be expected to try to buy national media attention with a win in Iowa. Yet as John McCain has proven, it could be all for naught, as winning the Iowa caucus doesn’t even assure the winner of receiving the delegates vote in the end. Romney has plenty of cash, and is hoping to knock out Gingrich as they head to New Hampshire, similar to what Obama did to Clinton in 2008 as seen in the above-linked CNN article:

This time around, Mitt Romney’s camp has tried to keep media expectations low in Iowa — never an easy trick when you’re seen as the national frontrunner and are therefore expected to compete everywhere. A first-place Iowa finish for the former Massachusetts governor — overcoming regional, religious, and ideological obstacles — could set Romney up for a huge win the following week in neighboring New Hampshire. It could also signal an early end to the nomination fight. (emphasis mine)

Should Ron Paul win in Iowa, it will result in one thing and only one thing: It will help Mitt Romney knock off the only serious contender to his status as the frontrunner, Mr. Newt Gingrich. This is the media game known as the Iowa caucuses, and it is a total disservice to conservative voters across America. For true conservative voters the choice is as simple as choosing between concrete or jello in 2012. The concrete solutions and legislative accomplishments that resulted in the first rock-solid balanced budget in 40 years in America of Newt Gingrich, or the non-defined, wishy-washy moderate bowl of jello known as Mitt Romney.