Iowa Caucus Results

Iowa Caucus Results
With 92 percent of the votes counted from caucuses in Iowa Republican, two candidates from different wings of the party were locked in a near tie - a moderate former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and conservative former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, each of them 24.7 per cent. Only 13 votes separated the two.

Network television was a libertarian-leaning design Rep. Ron Paul of Texas in third place with 21.1 percent. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is in fourth with 13.3 per cent. Texas Governor Rick Perry takes the fifth place with 10.3 percent. Rep. Michele Bachmann is the sixth with 5.1 percent.

If the close finish in the top two places is, it means that the Republican nomination race leaves Iowa with the air of indecision. This is followed by New Hampshire in general, on January 10, where Mr. Romney is expected to win easily. But his status as favorite son can not reduce the value of such a victory.

The third race, the South Carolina primary, January 21, can play a crucial role. This is the first contest in the south, and as such, are not in favor of Romney, a northerner. And some of the lower-level candidates from Iowa - like Governor Perry and Rep. Bachmann of Minnesota - announced they were skipping the New Hampshire and heading straight to South Carolina.

While the field is large and divided, which helps Romney. He is the only one of the candidates in the race with money and organization to last a long blow through the week primaries and caucuses. But if he can not build on its base of support, it would seem to be stuck in the mid 20's, which raises serious questions about how he gets the nomination.

Mr. Santorum, by contrast, has a terrific time. Just a month ago, he was polling less than 5 percent of Iowa Republicans. But one after another, like other conservatives stood up and were shot down by missteps and intense focus on his record, Santorum seems to be timed his surge very well. The question for him whether he could raise money and build an organization fast enough to run a national campaign.

Meanwhile, Romney made it clear that he does push in South Carolina, before the New Hampshire vote. Later this week, he heads to Charleston and Myrtle Beach, for campaign events.

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