Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Iowa Caucus Wrap-up...

Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney split win in Iowa caucus...

Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney wound up in a photo-finish in last night's Iowa Caucus. Libertarian candidate Ron Paul came in third, followed by Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry and Michelle Bachmann.

The breakdown: (with 99.0% reporting)

1) Santorum 24.6%
2) Romney 24.6%
3) Paul 21.3%
4) Gingrich 13.3%
5) Perry 10.3%
6) Bachmann  5%
7) Huntsman  <1%

 Rick Santorum has to be thrilled with his performance. Just a few weeks ago thought to be dead in the water, Santorum's timing was perfect as he rode a late surge to outperform several other Republicans who had peaked earlier in this campaign season. This finish should help Santorum immensely with financial donations and Santorum heads to New Hampshire. Mitt Romney is also likely pleased with the outcome given that just a few weeks ago, Romney wasn't even trying to compete in Iowa. With the massive lead Romney has in the New Hampshire polls, look for the former Massachusetts Governor to have quite the head of steam as he heads to South Carolina and Florida. 

Ron Paul's 3rd place finish surprised me a bit as I had drank the kool-aid and felt his supporters were more organised and more enthused than anyone else's, but, I was wrong. He's got money so we'll see how the next few weeks plays out for Mr. Paul. 

Coming in 4th was Newt Gingrich, whose fall from grace in the last three weeks was a bad way was apparently never a serious threat to finish in the top three, but after outside PAC groups started paying for media buys attacking the former Speaker, his numbers just cratered. 

Behind Gingrich came Texas Governor Rick Perry who entered the campaign months ago with great fanfare, only to (likely) be the first candidate to drop out, announced a change in his plans to head to South Carolina immediately after the Iowa Caucus was over. In his speech late last night, he said he plans to return to Texas and assess what his role in this campaign going forward should be. I think that's Texas code for "I'm boys have fun..."

Last AND least, Michelle Bachmann, who tonight claimed "I am not a politician" had a miserable evening and in her speech afterwards suggested she was going to carry on. To what avail, I don't know. 


Santorum is still a long, long shot to win the nomination. Romney is in great shape heading to New Hampshire plus various media reports are reporting Arizona Senator John McCain will endorse him tomorrow. Ron Paul will continue to be a novelty candidate but he's not a viable national candidate. Gingrich seems royally pissed at Romney for knee-capping him via PAC media buys, and will probably make it his mission over the next few weeks to return the favor personally. It may make him feel better, but it won't extend his campaign. Perry's done by this time next week. Bachmann should've been done tonight. Jon Huntsman needs a miracle...

Somewhere in Minnesota, Tim Pawlenty is vomiting...

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