The Iowa caucuses — the first contest of the 2012 presidential nominating season — were held Tuesday night. President Obama was unopposed, but Democrats met in caucuses across the state for what was essentially a pep rally.
Like former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee in 2008, Rick Santorum pulled off a late surge in Iowa with an appeal to social conservatives. Huckabee came in third in New Hampshire, then faded. Can Santorum avoid the same fate?
Former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney has been considered a front-runner in the 2012 presidential race since before the campaign began. The Iowa caucuses presented the first real contest of the campaign, and Romney came out the victor. He won by eight votes.
In recent weeks a lot of polls and pundits said the Iowa caucuses might be too close to call. But nobody imagined just how close things would turn out Tuesday night in the first voting of the 2012 presidential nominating season. Mitt Romney was declared the winner by just eight votes. Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum came in second.
The Iowa caucuses ended with Mitt Romney's extremely narrow victory over Rick Santorum early Wednesday morning. The first presidential nominating contest of 2012 played out at hundreds of sites across the state. And at the secondary school in Van Meter, voters were packed into the lunch room.
Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul were the big winners Tuesday night in the Iowa caucuses. They finished first, second and third respectively. Romney won by the narrowest of margins — eight votes.
"I think over the next 24 to 48 hours the campaign's gonna get a little bit meaner, a little darker, and a little bit more personal, as the candidates now fight for their life," says GOP strategist Frank Luntz.
It's on to New Hampshire for at least some of the Republican presidential candidates, where Newt Gingrich will take out a full-page ad in the New Hampshire Union Leader contrasting himself as a "bold Reagan conservative" to Mitt Romney's "timid Massachusetts moderate."
The Texas governor said he's returning home to determine whether there is a path forward for his Republican presidential campaign. He got 10 percent of the vote and finished fifth in the caucuses, the opening contest to pick a challenger to President Obama.
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