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Romney Squeaks by Santorum in Iowa by Only 8 Votes

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By Amanda Winkler , Christian Post Reporter
January 4, 2012|8:30 am

In what will probably be the closest Republican race in history, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney edged out former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum by a scant eight votes to win the Iowa caucuses.

  • Romney
    (Photo: REUTERS/Brian Snyder)
    Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney holds hands with his wife Ann as he addresses supporters at his Iowa Caucus night rally in Des Moines, Iowa, January 3, 2012.

The votes cast serious questions on the campaigns of Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann but keep the Ron Paul campaign alive with a strong third place finish. But the real news was the Santorum surge, keeping the results undetermined until 1:00 a.m. CST Wednesday.

Mitt Romney finished with 24.6 percent of the votes, while Santorum finished with 24.5. Texas congressman Paul finished with 21.4 percent of the votes. Paul supporters are saying their candidate does not need an Iowa win to continue his campaign. Paul’s financial donations are likely to keep pace or even increase despite his third place finish.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who said on Tuesday that he did not expect to win the caucus, came in fourth with 13.3 percent. Gingrich, who faced a barrage of negative ads, has said he will continue and even compete in New Hampshire, where Romney has double-digit leads over his opponents.

The clear losers of the race are Bachmann with 5 percent and Texas Gov. Rick Perry with slightly over 10 percent. Perry announced last night that he would be "assessing" the future of his campaign.

In his speech, Perry said that instead of going to South Carolina, he wants to return to Texas and pray about whether he should continue or drop out of the race. "With a little prayer and a little reflection, I'm going to decide the best path forward," Perry said in remarks to supporters. "I've decided to return to Texas to determine whether there is a path forward for myself in this race."

Romney Beats Santorum in Iowa

Romney Beats Santorum in Iowa

Bachmann, on the other hand, showed no signs of quitting during her speech. However, from a practicality standpoint it is unclear if she will be able to continue without an Iowa victory due to the fact that her campaign strategy was focused around her birth state.

One Romney staff member, who was expressing his emotions over the razor-thin margin, walked around the candidate's headquarters mumbling, "A win is a win." The Massachusetts governor is expected to be in New Hampshire today.

 

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