Former Governor Mitt Romney and former Senator Rick Santorum – only
"formers" allowed apparently – fought for first and ended up only
eight votes apart. Representative Ron Paul (R-Tex) came in third in a
state he once hoped to win.
Three candidates perhaps ought to be reconsidering their candidacies:
former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (13%); Texas Governor Rick Perry
(10%), Minnesota Representative Michelle Bachmann (5%).
Should they quit? Probably. Will they? Let's see.
Michelle Bachmann, who won the summer straw poll in Iowa, finished 6th
and withdrew. Rick Perry finished 5th and announced he was going home
to Texas to think things over. He didn't think too long though. It
seems he's off to South Carolina now to campaign. And fourth place
Newt Gingrich came out swinging at Romney in New Hampshire this
So Iowa did what first states can do – shrink the field, sharpen the divisions.
The Republican Party, like the country as a whole, has different
viewpoints on where we should go next. Moderate Republicans would say
let's trims spending and shrink the size of government. More radical
Republicans – Tea Partiers and the like – would say let's quit
everything and withdraw from the planet.
Sounds preposterous, but who knows? It's been fun to watch so far and
it's only just started.
The Presidential Express keeps moving, of course. New Hampshire, the
next stop, is just six days from now.