Home > Elections > Only Romney And Santorum Can Claim Success In Iowa; Ron Paul Is The Caucus’ Big Loser

Only Romney And Santorum Can Claim Success In Iowa; Ron Paul Is The Caucus’ Big Loser

I stayed up late Wednesday night watching the results from the Iowa caucus continue to roll in.  As Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney jockeyed back and forth for the lead in the night’s election, it started to become quite obvious that these two guys were the only ones that had a good night in Iowa.  The biggest loser in the Iowa caucus?  That one’s easy.  It’s Ron Paul.

Despite the popularity spikes by most every candidate out there in the last several months, Mitt Romney has remained the presumptive favorite to capture the nomination.  His narrow 8 vote victory over Rick Santorum did nothing to damage his front-runner status.  He simply needed to avoid a disappointing performance or last minute foot-in-mouth moment to keep his momentum rolling forward and he did just that.

I said in my original Iowa caucus preview that Rick Santorum’s best case scenario was a second place finish.  I clearly underestimated his backing in Iowa as he stood toe to toe with Romney the entire evening.  Polling in the low single digits for much of his candidacy, Santorum rode a last minute surge in popularity to within just 8 votes of what would have been one of the most surprising election wins in recent memory.

Whether Santorum can sustain going forward remains a question.  His campaign isn’t really built for a long-term candidacy and right now there are still some serious doubts as to whether he can match finances or broad-based popularity with Romney but for one night at least he established himself as a candidate that the others will need to address at some point.

Ron Paul though has to be disappointed with how things turned out.  He was leading in polls up to as late as earlier this week.  He was probably banking on a top two finish but ended up losing to both Romney and the upstart Santorum by a full 4 percent each.  I believe that Paul really needed an Iowa win more than anybody in order to give his candidacy some long-term strength and legitimacy.  Now with a third place finish in Iowa and his polling numbers starting to come back down from their highs I wonder if Paul is going to start drifting back to the middle of the pack and eventually drop out altogether sooner rather than later.

It doesn’t look much brighter for the other candidates either.  Newt Gingrich sounded like he was ready to fight in his post-election speech to his supporters.  I think it’s safe to say that Mitt Romney is going to be his target du jour going forward and history has shown that Gingrich knows how to hold a grudge.

Rick Perry sure sounded like he was planning on dropping out.  He said he was heading back to Texas to reassess his campaign after originally saying he was heading to South Carolina.  I think he can expect to hear an announcement from as soon as hours from now.

Michele Bachmann tried to sound stoic and positive in her late night speech but with just 5% of the vote and no clear path going forward her comments sounded more delusional than serious (she was still talking about being the “next Michele” in the White House).  Supposedly, there is a press conference coming from her as well so her campaign could be ending shortly as well.

Jon Huntsman didn’t really spend much time in Iowa and even if he did wouldn’t have registered much support.  He’ll probably stick around through New Hampshire but I’m sure he sees the writing on the wall.

Let’s hope that the rest of the race to November is as exciting as last night’s remarkably close election!

Advertisements
  1. January 4, 2012 at 10:24 am

    I like the post, but I hate the results in Iowa last night. I have varying opinions on Romney’s view of the issues, but I refuse to believe that America would be stupid enough to elect someone named Mitt — just a joke, I really don’t agree with Romney, although his campaign literature is well-written to garner support from working Americans outside the Belt in Washington.

    • January 10, 2012 at 4:18 pm

      President Mitt sounds almost as wrong as President Gingrich or President Huckabee. I think he’s got a long way to go to win in November at least.

  2. January 4, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    Did you hear that McCain is backing Romney. A loser is backing a loser. I can’t wait until November. I think Obama already has it sewn up. A lot of Republicans are going to stay home because of disaffection with their candidate, whoever it is. I also think the Independents are going to go with the Democrats because the GOP is so marginalized by the Tea Party takeover. That’s my take.

    • January 10, 2012 at 4:19 pm

      Pretty soon, everybody will be backing Romney. Even the other candidates on the podium that are trashing him now. Politics is a strange beast.

  3. TBM
    January 5, 2012 at 5:45 am

    It does sound exciting. Do you think Paul will try to become a third party candidate? I have a feeling Obama would love that. Will Paul become the Nader of 2012?

    • January 10, 2012 at 4:19 pm

      I honestly don’t think so. I think if he doesn’t get the Republican nomination he won’t run. He does have quite a bit of support in young voters though so I could be wrong.

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: