Cinderella Story in Iowa

Posted: January 9, 2012 in Uncategorized

“Game on.” That was the opening statement from a vindicated and jubilant Rick Santorum. Santorum found himself at the end of what he called an incredible journey. A journey that included ninety-nine counties, three hundred and eighty town hall meetings and being transported around the state in a pickup truck. The finish line showed Santorum losing Iowa by a mere eight votes but votes be damned, Rick Santorum was the big winner.

The Iowa Caucus had a few winners but even more losers. There may be more than three tickets leaving Iowa but quite a few are going to miss the plane. Rick Perry finished in a disappointing fifth place behind Newt Gingrich, who also experienced some difficulties in the Hawkeye State. Gingrich finished in fourth pulling just fourteen percent of the vote. Fourteen percent will be enough to keep Newt in the race, but for how long, is the question. Also taking their place in the loser column is Michele Bachmann, who had a surprisingly disappointing showing in her home state taking only five percent.

The question is now, who is going to drop out? Although all the candidates put on a positive face while under the lights, rumors are already flying. Rick Perry is said to be returning to Austin to review his candidacy and Michele Bachmann will most likely drop out in the coming weeks and almost certainly after New Hampshire where she isn’t expected to have much of a showing.

Mitt Romney was the official winner in Iowa, however you have to really ask yourself if it was a win. Mitt Romney dumped a truckload of money into Iowa and beat Rick Santorum by eight votes. Keep in mind that Santorum spent a total of 30,000 dollars. Now Romney must deal with a surging Santorum, who just last week was sitting in the single digits in the polls.

The other winner tonight was Ron Paul who pulled out a third place finish with twenty-two percent of the vote. The question remains though. Can Ron Paul last through the next forty-nine states? While watching the returns tonight I noticed an interesting statistic that I think most people missed. At the beginning of the caucus coverage, entrance polls were showing Ron Paul in the lead with over forty percent. This shows an interesting development that I have felt for a long time. People like to say they support Ron Paul but when it comes time to cast your vote, they can’t seem to actually select him.

Ron Paul is a winner tonight however his less than stellar policy plans and fixation with only a few matters of government will leave him where he stands tonight, the odd man out.

A development worth looking at as well is that Newt Gingrich appears to be taking the gloves off with Mitt Romney, starting now. The days of civil politics it appears has ended in the Gingrich camp. In his speech tonight in Iowa he referred several times, to the “avalanche” of negative ads. He also gave a mention to Rick Santorum and the positive campaign that he waged through Iowa, adding at the end, “I wish I could say that for all the candidates.” The Gingrich Campaign has also taken out a full-page ad calling Romney a “timid Massachusetts moderate.” Romney wasn’t the only one to get some attention from Gingrich during his speech. Gingrich also hit Ron Paul on his weak stance on Iran. I think we are going to see a whole new Newt in the coming days. This quote sums up the new Newt, “We are not going to go out and run nasty ads, we are not going to run thirty second gotchas, but I do reserve the right to tell the truth.”

The end of the evening came with what only could be described as an emotionally moving speech made by Rick Santorum. He was visibly moved by how well he did and gave an according speech and off the cuff to boot. Santorum talked about his candidacy speech and about his grandfather. He told a story of how his grandfather gave him his freedom with his hard work when he immigrated here. Rick Santorum captivated the state of Iowa but more importantly he may have captivated the entire country.

Mitt Romney should be very afraid. With Ron Paul sure to implode at some point in the near future and Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry sure to drop out soon, it leaves Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich in the top three. Romney will surely fall victim to Newt’s bloodletting in the coming days and Santorum is sure to get some much-needed financial support. This is the perfect storm that will sink the S.S. Romney if he isn’t careful. This modern day David and Goliath story that played out tonight in front of the world was no doubt entertaining and riveting, but what does it mean?

The coming days will show where everything is going to fall but you can look to New Hampshire to be a hard fought week and who will come out on top is anyone’s guess. The fact that has to be plaguing Romney is not only did a single digit candidate steal his thunder but what will this mean for him in places like South Carolina.

For more Election 2012 coverage and commentary check out Truth About Bills and The College Conservative.  You can also follow me on Twitter or on Facebook.

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