As expected, the Iowa Caucus is hotly contested and deeply regionally divided. As mentioned yesterday, the man to watch has been Rick Santorum, whose late surge in the polls is bearing fruit in the form of a virtual tie with Romney atop the leader board.
We are being told that the exact winner of this election will not be known for sure until every precinct has reported and every vote is hand counted.
The exact order of the winners and hangers on probably doesn’t matter much, with Iowa’s delegates being proportional, rather than winner-take-all this year. So…in general, we know that Santorum, Romney and Paul did well, Gingrich under-performed expectations from a few weeks back thanks to a negative ad campaign the likes of which is rarely seen in politics, and Perry got enough delegates to not further damage his bid…he needs to do very well in the South though to have any chance at a comeback. Meanwhile, Bachmann – who had hoped to compete in Iowa, appears to be finished, having only gotten 5% of the vote…it will be interesting to see who she chooses to throw her support to…it could actually make a positive difference to someone like Santorum or Perry or even Gingrich.
Huntsman got no support in Iowa, but he was playing for New Hampshire, not Iowa, so his candidacy will stand or fall depending on whether he makes a significant showing there next week.
More debates coming up this week…we’ll keep an eye on them when we can spare it…I will not be available much for deep commentary on the primary until the 13th, however, as I am away on business between the 8th and 12th and must prepare for that trip in the meantime.