Iowa Caucus Winners and Losers
by Jen Green
It’s after midnight as I type this, and we don’t know yet if Santorum has actually pulled out the win–it’s looking like Romney by 14. Apparently, some votes are lost out on the road somewhere. Regardless, this is a win for the former Pennsylvania senator. He worked hard, shook a lot of hands, answered a lot of questions, and practically lived in Iowa for the last six months. He was at single digits in the polls until two weeks ago. He did it “old school,” and in the end, 25% of Iowa caucus-goers thought that was worth their vote. The media has already started the “he can’t win” mantra, but he will get a hands-up “Iowa boost” as he heads into New Hampshire and South Carolina.
The media is calling it a “targeted” approach, but let’s face it, Romney wasn’t making a play for Iowa until he sensed the ridiculously fractured base and the blood in the water. In the end, it was enough to get him the exact same 25% of the vote he got four years ago. No significant change . . . after four years of running. The only thing “reaffirmed” last night is that Romney can get one of our four Repubs to vote for him . . . after four years of running. Oh, and with John McCain’s upcoming endorsement/cry-for-relevance, he’ll “reaffirm” his RINO status.
Bob Vander Plaats/the Family Leader
After a crazy-long, much ballyhooed ordeal, Bob Vander Plaats and Chuck Hurley of Iowa’s largest pro-family group The Family Leader finally chose to endorse a candidate. They chose the guy who was at single-digits in the race, but who had signed their marriage pledge. It was the right choice ethically and the safe choice politically. And now, that “safe” choice turns out to be a brilliant one. For now and the foreseeable future, Vander Plaat’s endorsement and good graces will be much sought after here in the state of Iowa and perhaps beyond. What changed for Rick Santorum just before his rise in the polls? He got the nod from Iowa’s well-respected secretary of state Matt Schultz and Vander Plaats.
Iowa GOP party
Until the hold up with the votes from the last two precincts, the caucuses went off without a hitch. Great weather led to record attendance (just a bit over 2008 total of 120,000) which led to an exciting photo-finish. All that and the OWS crowd did nothing to dampen the mood.
As I said, same 25%. One in four. Three in four want anyone but him.
After imploding almost right out of the gate, rising like a rocket again, then falling back down to single digits, Newt Gingrich finished fourth in last night’s three man race. It keeps him alive as he goes swinging into New Hampshire, where he has already started running attack ads versus Romney. Look for he and Santorum to be very non-agressive toward each other as they work to tear down Mitt.
One in four. See above two sections.
No matter how they spin it, the Ron Paul campaign wanted and expected a top finish in the Iowa caucuses—certainly a top two finish. He spent more time, money, and grassroots effort in this state than any other candidate. The fact they could not even deliver Story and Johnson counties where Iowa’s universities are, is a huge disappointment. He may do “okay” in New Hampshire, but he’s got little chance in South Carolina and Florida.
In the interest of full disclosure, my family supported Michele Bachmann. We really like her personally, we love her record, her testimony, and her worldview. In the end, however, none of those were enough to overcome a campaign in disarray and a stilted message. In her speech last night, she sounded resolute to move forward to South Carolina—at virtually the same time, her campaign manager was saying she “might drop out.” His message changed a bit later. Unfortunately, that is a ‘nutshell’ to her campaign since the straw poll. She is an amazing woman and still one of my political heroes. I pray she continues to let God use her in the future. That being said, I think it’s time for her to leave the race.
He faltered out of the gate, had one of the most notorious moments in presidential debate history, spent a LOT of money trying to reshape his image in Iowa only to finish a very disappointing fifth. Perry says he will “re-evaluate,” which means he’s done.
The first votes in the 2012 presidential race after the formation of the tea party and the “historic” election of 2010 has netted us . . . Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum. NOT tea party candidates.