Santorum/Romney In Close Race In Iowa

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It’s a close one:

Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney waged a seesaw battle for supremacy in Iowa’s Republican presidential caucuses late Tuesday night, the opening round of a campaign to pick a challenger to President Barack Obama.

Texas Rep. Ron Paul ran third.

Returns from 93 percent of the state’s 1,774 precincts showed Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator, and Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts, in a near dead heat, a fitting conclusion to a race as jumbled as any since Iowa gained the lead-off position in presidential campaigns four decades ago.

With 93% reporting:

Santorum: 25%
Romney: 25%
Paul: 21%
Gingrich: 13%
Perry: 10%
Bachmann: 5%
Huntsman: 1%

Sarah Palin didn’t endorse anyone, and to my chagrin she said people shouldn’t marginalize Ron Paul:

**smacks forehead**

Yes, some of his fiscal policies are great but if there was ever a candidate that needed to be marginalized it’s Ron Paul. Can’t agree with Sarah on this one.


Nate Silver:

Based on a county-by-county extrapolation of precincts that have yet to report, the final total would be Mr. Romney 30,286 votes, Mr. Santorum 30,201 votes. Needless to say, it may still be some time before this race gets called.

However, even though Mr. Santorum has a very small lead right now, the remaining precincts look to be ever so slightly more favorable to Mr. Romney.

Curt served in the Marine Corps for four years and has been a law enforcement officer in Los Angeles for the last 24 years.

9 Responses to “Santorum/Romney In Close Race In Iowa”

  1. 1


    Palin may actually be thinking more of Paul’s supporters than Paul himself. From a coalition-building standpoint there is no point in risking a schism if Paul can be defeated in a more conciliatory way, much as it might pain some Republicans to be polite to him.

    (edit): It looks like turnout was pretty good – must have been about 120K, roughly tying the record.

  2. 2


    It must really put Romney’s panties in a knot with Santorum getting so close… Glad to see it, even though I don’t want tricky Rick in the Oval Office – but rather him than the plastic RINO

  3. 3


    Photo finish. They can call that a Romney win if they like but it’s as close to a tie as you’re likely to see in national politics.

  4. 4


    @ Curt

    Yes, some of his fiscal policies are great but if there was ever a candidate that needed to be marginalized it’s Ron Paul. Can’t agree with Sarah on this one.

    Sarah said the GOP should not marginalize his supporters. She said the country was war weary and we are broke and those things are resonating and Paul is the only candidate talking about it. She’s right, fiscally Santorum is not better than Obama. He’s a social conservative. I have to tell you, who marries whom is the least of our concerns right now. There will always be gays in the military, the country is just now trying to figure out how to deal with it. I will vote for the nominee just to get rid of Obama, but I can tell you right now that if my choices are Santorum, Romney, or Paul…I’m seriously leaning toward Paul.

  5. 5

    another vet

    I don’t think the primary season will last as long as the pundits are predicting. If it was a “conventional” race, pitting a moderate, establishment Republican against a conservative outsider, say Romney versus Perry, then it may have gone down to the wire because there would be two clear cut choices for the moderate and conservative wings of the party to choose from. So far, it has been Romney versuses whoever the more conservative candidate is at that particular time. The main thing is to stop the damage that has been done by this POTUS. I’d rather see Perry or another more conservative than Romney candidate get the nod, but if Romney gets it and can beat Obama, so be it. Too much is at stake. Keep in mind that Ike and Nixon were more moderate Republicans compared to say, Goldwater and Reagan, and they did quite well. Ike established the interstate highway system and increased Social Security benefits and Nixon established the EPA and I believed signed the Safe Drinking Water Act. Much to my dislike, he was also a proponent of gun control. Not exactly conservative positions, but the economy prospered under Ike and he gave hope to the country and Nixon, despite his personal shortcomings, was able to pit China and the Soviets against each other thereby reducing their threats to this country. The main thing is to stand behind the nominee and stop the carnage. In 2016 or 2020, perhaps a more viable conservative candidate or a viable third party will surface. We may have to take things in steps.

  6. 6


    I doubt Romney can seal the deal quickly (as you seem to be implying). If he were just *slightly* more conservative, sure. But Gingrich was polling above 60% in some southern states a while back. Even with the drubbing he’s taken (and will take in NH, likely) I bet he can beat Romney in SC and FL. In head to head matchups versus Romney he leads something like 60/40. Thus the likely need for a long fight. It doesn’t help Romney that Paul is also pursuing a caucus strategy; they’ll be fighting in places like Maine, Nevada, Montana, and Minnesota. Romney could reasonably have expected to dominate Gingrich one-on-one in those places using his superior preparation and organization, but Paul’s campaign has also been preparing for a long time and if nothing else will force Romney to spend time and effort on contests that would otherwise have been an easy win for him.

  7. 7

    Hard Right

    Yes, some of his fiscal policies are great but if there was ever a candidate that needed to be marginalized it’s Ron Paul. Can’t agree with Sarah on this one.

    Ditto that.

  8. 8


    It’s not the place of the media to marginalize any presidential candidate when he or she has tallied up a vote count like Ron Paul has done. Something about what he’s saying obviously resonates with a lot of voters and resonates across party lines. The front-runners would do well to figure out what that is.

  9. 9


    @ Hard Right:
    I’m not in the bag for Paul at this very moment, but for the alternatives to be Romney or Santorum, why not? And I’m not asking this to start a flame war, I just want to know. Paul has made some crazy statements about Iran, 9-11, and other foreign policy. But if we get Romney or Santorum, what will change? There will be a republican in the White House spending money instead of a democrat. Santorum is not a fiscal conservative, he’s a social conservative. Romney is a RINO. Gingrich is about to go suicide bomber on Romney and show everyone exactly what they thought he would do, which is implode. Perry can’t seem to carry a conversation with a 10 year old, but I’m hoping against hope that he will snap out if it in time to make something happen.
    That leaves Paul, oh and Huntsman. I might switch to him just to see his daughters more often. But is Paul’s foreign policy worse than Romney’s and Santorum’s domestic policy? He wants congress to declare war and if congress does, he will go to war. I don’t like a lot of what he has said foreign policy-wise, but I’m stuck having to overlook major flaws in all the current top-tier candidates. What makes looking over his foreign policy flaws any different than overlooking Romney’s and Santorum’s flaws. And I don’t think Santorum is going to last past New Hampshire anyway, but for the sake of argument, I’m including him.

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