Romney wins Iowa caucuses, edges out Santorum by a mere 8 votes; & other caucus stories

News

January 4th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has won the Iowa caucuses, edging out former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum by a mere eight votes. Iowa Republican party Chairman Matt Strawn announced the razor-thin margin early Wednesday morning from Des Moines. Strawn says Romney got 30,015 votes, while Santorum received 30,007 votes. Romney and Santorum were never separated by more than dozens of votes, and both sides were acting like it was a win before Strawn’s announcement. Santorum had a late surge from the bottom tier. Texas Congressman Ron Paul finished third, and former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich finished fourth. Texas Gov. Rick Perry says he’ll return to Texas to reassess his bid after coming in fifth. And despite finishing even farther behind, Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann said she’s still in the race.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The final votes that helped Mitt Romney win the Iowa caucuses arrived only after a county chairwoman was woken in a panic after midnight. Votes in the final precinct were added to the total early Wednesday morning, giving Romney a victory over Rick Santorum of just eight votes. It also made for a memorable night for Edith Pfeffer, the Clinton County Republican Party chairwoman. Pfeffer got a call from the Romney campaign asking what the figures were for the missing precinct because they hadn’t been recorded. Pfeffer said she gave the figures — 51 for Romney, 33 for Santorum — and went to bed. But she was soon awoken by a friend banging on her windows and was told she needed to report the figures to the state party.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has won most of the delegates in the Iowa Republican caucuses, edging former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. Romney won a projected 13 delegates and Santorum won 12. Texas Rep. Ron Paul was shut out. Twenty-five delegates were at stake in Tuesday’s caucuses. The Associated Press calculates the number of national convention delegates won by candidates in each presidential primary or caucus, based on state and national party rules. Iowa Republicans use a multi-step process to elect national delegates, starting with local caucuses. In Iowa and other caucus states, the AP uses the results from local caucuses to calculate the number of national delegates each candidate will win, if the candidates maintain the same level of support throughout the process.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Police agencies across Iowa are reporting no significant protests or disruptions at caucus sites, which Republican organizers had feared. Police in Des Moines and Cedar Falls say they had no calls related to Tuesday’s caucuses. Assistant Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation Director Chari Paulson says no issues have been brought to her attention. The Republican Party of Iowa had warned the leaders of the 1,774 precincts that “disruption-minded individuals” might attempt to interfere with the voting. The party instructed precinct leaders to call police immediately and report incidents to the party. Occupy the Caucuses protesters insisted all along they had no plans to interfere with the voting. They encouraged some activists to show up and vote “no preference” but did not hold any major events Tuesday.