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.