Entries in Iowa Caucus (62)


Romney Heaps Praise on Perry, Declines to Comment on Iowa

EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images(CHARLESTON, S.C.) -- Mitt Romney got two bits of bad news Thursday morning: an admission by the Iowa GOP that he had not won the caucus there this month, and former GOP presidential hopeful Texas Gov. Rick Perry's endorsement of Newt Gingrich as a, “conservative to put our nation back on the right track.”

Asked by ABC’s Jonathan Karl for a reaction on the Iowa Caucus results, which revealed Thursday that former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum received 34 more certified votes than he did, Romney did not offer a comment.

But he heaped praise on Perry just moments after the Texas governor suspended his campaign and endorsed rival Newt Gingrich. Romney, the GOP frontrunner who wants to sew up the nomination with a win in South Carolina on Saturday, said that the Texas governor would be missed at a debate sponsored by CNN on Thursday night.

“Governor Perry, terrific guy, terrific conservative, been a great governor was great in the race and we’re going to miss him on the stage tonight,” said Romney, who was surrounded by reporters and camera crews as he climbed into an SUV following a campaign event at his Charleston headquarters.

Earlier when he was shaking hands with supporters, Romney said Perry is, “a great man.”

“He made a real contribution,” said Romney. “He already has to his state and to our country.”

In a formal written statement from his campaign, Romney wrote, “Rick Perry ran a campaign based upon love of country and conservative principles. He has earned a place of prominence as a leader in our party and I salute him for his commitment to making President Obama a one-term president and finally getting our nation’s economy back on the right track. The nation owes Governor Perry a debt of gratitude for his years of service to his state and country. I wish Anita and him well.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Was Rick Santorum the Real Winner in Iowa?

ABC NewsUPDATE: The Republican Party of Iowa announced Thursday morning the final results of the state's Jan. 3 caucuses, showing Rick Santorum beat Mitt Romney by 34 votes, as the Des Moines Register had previously reported.

The Register says Romney lost the top spot to Rick Santorum by 34 votes, rather than winning by the mere eight votes that was reported in the early morning hours of Jan. 4.  Certified numbers show Santorum finished with a total of 29,839 votes, while Romney ended with 29,805.

However, citing Republican Party of Iowa officials, the newspaper notes that inaccuracies were found in 131 precincts and the results of eight others are missing and will never be recovered.  Those results could have further widened or narrowed the gap between the two candidates.

In response to the new tally, Romney's camp issued a statement Thursday saying the results from the Jan. 3 caucuses "revealed a virtual tie."

The Iowa GOP will announce the final results at 9:15 a.m. ET on Thursday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Iowa GOP to Announce Final Caucus Results

Scott Olson/Getty Images(DES MOINES, Iowa) -- On Thursday morning, voters will finally know who won the Iowa caucuses.

Since Mitt Romney edged Rick Santorum by a mere eight votes on caucus night two weeks ago, Iowa’s counties and precincts have submitted forms to document their vote totals to the Iowa Republican Party, which has been helping them prepare the official precinct counts.

On caucus night, precinct officials phoned in results to an automated system after they’d counted the votes by hand.  As the last precincts reported their votes, the tally swung back and forth into the wee hours of Jan. 4.

But Thursday’s results are final, and Santorum could be crowned Iowa’s real winner.  An anonymous campaign source told The Washington Examiner Monday that Santorum led by around 80 votes at the time.

The Iowa GOP will announce the final results at 9:15 a.m. ET on Thursday.

By now, though, it may not matter whether Santorum officially won.  The candidate and major media outlets have already declared Iowa an effective tie, and Iowa does not award delegates to any candidate.  Unlike for most states, Iowa’s delegates to the Republican National Convention are free to support whichever candidate they choose, and the state will not select those delegates until June.

If Santorum wins Iowa in the official count, the boost will be emotional and psychological.  That could help him as he heads into the South Carolina primary this Saturday if it legitimizes him in the eyes of any on-the-fence voters there.  But it will not likely help him to raise money: While Santorum raised a flood of cash after his strong Iowa showing, he’s already missed out on any extra donations he would have attracted in the following days, had the Iowa GOP announced him the winner in the early morning hours of Jan. 4.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Can Rick Santorum Maintain His Momentum?

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- The Iowa caucuses Tuesday elevated Rick Santorum, once a virtual unknown, into the national spotlight.  But among the questions stemming from his newfound popularity is whether the GOP hopeful can sustain his momentum and weather the attacks to come.

Two of Santorum‘s most obvious disadvantages moving forward are money and infrastructure, especially compared to front-runner and main rival Mitt Romney.

Santorum’s super PAC -- the Red, White and Blue Fund -- spent a little more than $400,000 on two ads for him in Iowa, which pales in comparison to the $4.6 million outside groups spent on Romney.  Even Rick Perry had a substantial money advantage over Santorum, with his super PAC giving him $3.7 million worth of help in Iowa.

Santorum and Romney spent about an equal amount of their own money in Iowa. The former congressman spent a total of $1 million on his campaign in Iowa, compared with the $1.1 million Romney spent on ad buys.  But unlike his opponent, Santorum lived in Iowa for months and visited all 99 counties, while Romney conducted a whirlwind, seven-day last-minute campaign leading up to the caucuses.

The former senator from Pennsylvania doesn’t even have a bus. He trekked across Iowa in a truck driven by one of his supporters.

The money factor obviously did not affect Santorum in Iowa, where he was narrowly defeated by Romney.  But it could be a game-changer in the primary states of New Hampshire and South Carolina, where Santorum has less of a presence than in Iowa.  That was evident in a fundraising appeal by Santorum sent to his supporters Thursday morning.

“The next test is New Hampshire…a state Mitt Romney has campaigned in for over four years. This is why I need your immediate support,” Santorum wrote.

Republican analysts say Santorum has been successful in appealing to undecided conservative voters who are not necessarily activists, but he has a long way to go in proving that he’s the right candidate to beat President Obama.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Michele Bachmann Suspends Presidential Campaign

Scott Olson/Getty Images(DES MOINES, Iowa) -- Rep. Michele Bachmann suspended her presidential campaign Wednesday, hours after placing sixth in Tuesday’s Iowa Republican caucuses.

“Last night, the people of Iowa spoke with a very clear voice, so I have decided to stand aside,” Bachmann said at a news conference, flanked by her parents, husband and five children. “I have no regrets, none whatsoever. We never compromised our principles and we can leave this race knowing we ran it with the utmost integrity.”

Bachmann said she will continue to fight the policies of President Obama, particularly his health care legislation, calling the 2012 election “the last chance to turn our country around, before we go down the road of socialism.”

She said she was motivated to stop Obama and not by a thirst for power. “Though I’m a congresswoman by title, a politician I’ve never been. … I’m not motivated by vanity, glory or the quest for power.”

Bachmann had staked her candidacy on Iowa, the state in which she was born and raised. In September, campaign manager Keith Nahigian called Iowa a “must win” state.

Bachmann placed last out of the six candidates competing in Tuesday’s first-in-the-nation caucuses, receiving only 5 percent of the vote and losing in Waterloo, the town where she was born.

Bachmann, a three-term congresswoman from Minnesota, emerged on the national political scene riding the wave of Tea Party activism. As the founder of the Tea Party Caucus in Congress, Bachmann’s socially conservative, family-oriented approach initially captured the support of staunch conservatives and evangelical Christians.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Iowa Caucus Results: Romney Edges Santorum by Eight Votes

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(DES MOINES, Iowa) -- Mitt Romney won the first presidential preference contest of 2012 by a mere eight votes Tuesday, narrowly edging out a surging Rick Santorum in the Iowa Caucuses.

The two men -- neither of whom was expected as recently as a month ago to win -- ran neck and neck and finished in a virtual tie.  

The second place finish capped a remarkable rise in popularity for Santorum, who had focused his entire campaign and shoestring budget on Iowa.  Romney finished second in Iowa in 2008, but had focused his 2012 campaign on other early primary and caucus states.  In this cycle, he received exactly six votes less than he did in 2008.

In third place was Rep. Ron Paul, the Libertarian leaning Texan on his third and most inspired run for the presidency.

There were some reporting irregularities from local party committees that dragged the election outcome into the wee hours of Wednesday morning.

ABC News projected that 123,000 people voted in the Iowa contest -- the largest turnout for a Republican caucus.  Romney got 30,015 votes and Santorum received 30,007.

[Click here to see the full results]

While Santorum's showing is an upset of sorts, Romney's narrow victory places the former Massachusetts governor in a good position to win New Hampshire's primary next week before the candidates face off in a more competitive primary in South Carolina.  He's also expected to get the endorsement of Sen. John McCain, the last Republican nominee for president.

As for the rest of the pack: Paul, in third place, held on to his reliable bloc of enthusiastic supporters and ended up with 21 percent of the vote.  The other candidates fell into a lower tier, with Newt Gingrich winning 13 percent, Rick Perry getting 10 percent and Michele Bachmann seeing 5 percent.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Romney: Santorum's Focused on Iowa, I’m Running National Campaign

Scott Olson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Mitt Romney, the winner of Tuesday night’s Iowa caucuses, dismissed runner-up Rick Santorum as someone who doesn’t have the organization to win the nomination or the right experience to create jobs as president.

“We have very different backgrounds.  I spent my life, the first 25 years in the private sector.  I know a great deal about how jobs are created, how they come and how they go, and I think Rick has spent most of life in the governmental sector.  Nothing wrong with that experience, but it’s very different I think if you want to get the economy going again,” Romney told ABC News' chief political correspondent George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America Wednesday.

Romney only beat Santorum by eight votes, and he outspent the former Pennsylvania senator by a 50 to 1 margin on television ads -- something the former Massachusetts governor said was because he’s focusing his efforts on a national campaign.

“Rick has focused his effort, and I think in a wise way, entirely on Iowa.  I’ve been campaigning in other states, putting together the kind organization which I believe will get me the 1,150 delegates I need.  So let me tell you I’m going to take every win I can possibly get and get every delegate I can possibly get,” he said.

The voters of Iowa showed that Romney has won their minds, but not their hearts.  According to the entrance polls, the very conservative vote fell to Santorum, while Romney won perhaps the more pragmatic vote of who is the person to defeat President Obama.

“I think people have to hear me more and more, see my record as the Massachusetts governor and remember that I ran four years ago and that Mike Huckabee and I were the conservative choices in that campaign.  We got beaten by a very strong campaigner in John McCain but I’ll just have to get my message across the country,” Romney said.

Santorum is Romney’s prime opponent “at this stage,” he said.  But heading into New Hampshire former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has also promised a tough challenge, taking out a full page ad in the Union Leader calling Romney a “timid Massachusetts moderate” and a “liar” on CBS Tuesday.

When asked if the term “liar” was out of bounds, Romney said, “It’s pretty heated rhetoric obviously.  I think he’s just really angry, disappointed. I mean, he was leading in the polls here by a pretty wide margin. One of the things I feel good about is having come from way behind just a few weeks ago to come to a point where we’re in a virtual tie for the finish.”

As for whether Romney will stick by his previous prediction of winning the Republican nomination?

“I sure plan on winning the nomination. It’s no sure thing. I can’t predict how that will happen but I think if I do my job, if my team is able to do a good job, why, we ought to be able to post pretty well against President Obama down the road,” he said.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


After Iowa Loss, Santorum Taking Fight to New Hampshire

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call(DES MOINES, Iowa) -- Though Rick Santorum ultimately came up short in Iowa to Mitt Romney by eight votes, he won the battle of expectations.  More important, he’s leaving his top rivals -- Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich -- in the dust when it comes to the title of conservative alternative to Mitt Romney.

So what does Santorum do now?

He needs to solidify his status as the anti-Romney, consensus conservative. The best way to do this is to show that he can consolidate that base in states other than Iowa.

But New Hampshire isn’t a natural fit for Santorum.  In Iowa, 58 percent of Republican caucus-goers defined themselves as evangelicals.  In New Hampshire, meanwhile, just 23 percent of 2008 Republican primary voters characterized themselves as such.

Plus, more than half of Republican primary voters in New Hampshire said they thought abortion should be legal, something Santorum strongly opposes.

So, why not go straight to South Carolina?

Sources close to the campaign say that Tuesday night’s strong showing in Iowa coupled with another one in New Hampshire could solidify the race as a Romney vs. Santorum contest.  And more specifically, a battle between a candidate they will try to cast as a moderate (Romney) vs. the “true” conservative (Santorum).

It was also evident from Santorum’s victory speech Tuesday night that he is intent on framing the race as a contrast between his own blue collar roots and Romney’s far more privileged upbringing.

Santorum’s advisers argue that despite Romney’s lead in the polls in New Hampshire, they too have laid the groundwork to be competitive there. They add that although the former Pennsylvania senator has basically lived in Iowa for the past few months, he has managed to log almost as many days in New Hampshire as Romney.

“I’m not saying that we’re going to win New Hampshire,” Santorum adviser Hogan Gidley said in an interview with ABC News, “but we’re going to New Hampshire and we’re going to fight.”

Gidley said the campaign’s goal over the coming weeks would be to prove that Santorum can go “toe to toe with Mitt Romney in any part of the country.”

What’s more, Santorum doesn’t need to win New Hampshire, he just needs to do better than any other candidate not named Romney.  If he does that, he can effectively claim the mantle of the conservative alternative.

To that end, Santorum will travel directly to New Hampshire on Wednesday and remain there at least until Sunday when, as of now, he plans to travel to South Carolina for a day of campaigning before returning to New Hampshire.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Romney’s Iowa Victory Map: How He Won in 2012 But Lost in '08

ABC News(DES MOINES, Iowa) -- How did Mitt Romney win Iowa in 2012 with six fewer votes than he collected in 2008?

The former Massachusetts governor saw a handful of the counties he won in 2008 slip away to his newfound rivals, but he made up the difference by winning more votes in large counties in the Des Moines area.  In this cycle, Romney took 30,015 votes, whereas in 2008 he received 30,021.

Four years ago, Mitt Romney (23.3 percent) finished behind Mike Huckabee (35.8 percent) in Iowa, winning counties along the eastern and western borders, plus the large Dallas County in suburban Des Moines.  Aside from two other counties, Huckabee won the rest of the state.

On Tuesday, Rick Santorum stole counties from Romney in the west, while Ron Paul stole counties from the former governor in the east.

Santorum captured five of Romney’s seven western counties from 2008, while Paul captured five of Romney’s 14 eastern counties.  In the eastern quarter of Iowa, Romney underperformed his 2008 totals in Winnishiek, Jackson, Allamakee and Delaware, finishing second to Paul in each, after winning those counties in 2008.  He placed third in Clayton and Cedar.

In western Iowa, Romney placed second to Santorum in Woodbury, Harrison, Montgomery and Monona -- all counties he won in 2008.  In Ida, he finished fifth.

Romney made up for those losses by winning the large Polk and Story counties near Des Moines, which he lost to Huckabee in 2008, and by adding to his total in Dallas County.

In total, Romney lost 13 of the 24 counties he won in 2008 -- seven to Santorum and six to Paul.  He won six in 2012 that had voted for Huckabee four years ago.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Looking Ahead: Who's on New Hampshire’s Primary Ballot

Ethan Miller/Getty Images(CONCORD, N.H.) -- With Iowa behind them, candidates and political enthusiasts alike are turning their eyes eastward to New Hampshire, where voters are gearing up for next week’s Jan. 10 primary.

The Granite State hosts the first voting contest that will award delegates to the GOP presidential candidates, as well as the first in the nation voting contest that will use a ballot.

And that ballot is not short on names.  The New Hampshire Secretary of State released sample ballots for next week’s primary for both the Republican and Democratic parties, and they total 30 Republicans -- a record high for the state’s Republican ballot -- and 14 Democrats, according to Secretary of State Bill Gardner.

The Republican ballot includes seven leading GOP contenders as well as seven others challenging for attention. Some of the additional names may look familiar.  For example, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, who is now seeking the libertarian party’s nomination, former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer, and Fred Karger, a political consultant and gay rights activist, are some of the individuals listed.

Herman Cain, the one time front-runner for the GOP nomination who dropped his bid in early December amid allegations of sexual harassment, also appears on the ballot.  He filed his candidacy with the New Hampshire Secretary of State before dropping out of the race.

Other names on the Republican ballot are more of a question mark to voters.  And despite the record high number, there is only one female candidate listed on it, Rep. Michele Bachmann.

The Democratic ballot is considerably shorter than the Republican ballot, but Democratic voters in New Hampshire wishing to take part in Tuesday’s primary do have a list of 13 names to check off aside from Barack Obama.  The listed individuals span the ideological spectrum.

Some are to the left of Obama, such as Darcy G. Richardson of Jacksonville, Fla., who bills himself as a “progressive Democrat” on his webpage and is running because he’s been, “disappointed by President Obama’s abandonment of many of the progressive values that he articulated so eloquently.”

Others are to the president’s right, like Robert B. Jordan of Garden Grove, Calif., who is running on an “oil platform” which proposes lifting all restrictions on drilling in U.S. oil reserves, including the ANWAR and Prudhoe Bay regions in Alaska.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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