Iowa Caucuses are over, its on to New Hampshire
Just some quick thoughts before I head to work this morning:
What an interesting night is was in Iowa. It became clear early on that there were three candidates vying for the win–Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, and Rick Santorum–while the other candidates were fighting for fourth place. All throughout the night the top three candidates bounced from first to third place, separated by just one hundred votes or so.
As the night wore on Ron Paul settled into third place, far ahead of the fourth place winner, Newt Gingrich, but it wasn’t known until early this morning that Mitt Romney edged out Rick Santorum by just eight votes to win the Iowa caucuses.
Here is what I took out of the caucuses last night. Mitt Romney is probably going to hover around the 25% mark in all the states as long as multiple candidates remain in the race, once candidates begin to drop out it will be interesting to see which candidate benefits the most. Ron Paul had a very good showing last night, although I thought going in that he would come in either first or second and Santorum would finish a strong third.
Rick Perry sounded like a man who is thinking about dropping out of the race, but he may be going to Texas to come up with a new strategy in his quest for the nomination, and Michele Bachmann should be considering dropping out of the race.
So now its on to New Hampshire and it will be interesting to see what kind of bump Rick Santorum gets, or if he gets a bump at all. Rick Santorum has basically spent all his time in Iowa and it paid off, but he has remained in single digits in the polls here and it is unlikely he will be able to pull off the same type of surge he did in Iowa. And then there is Jon Huntsman, who has staked everything on New Hampshire, as the wildcard.
The latest New Hampshire polls show Mitt Romney with a huge lead over Ron Paul, with the other candidates well behind and in single digits. It looks as if Mitt Romney is going to win New Hampshire easily and Ron Paul should expect poll numbers which resemble his finish in Iowa–around 21%, so the battle is going to be for third place between Jon Huntsman, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich. Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry have already given up on New Hampshire and are moving on to South Carolina if they do indeed stay in the race.
It will be interesting to see if Rick Santorum can ride the momentum from Iowa into New Hampshire and capture third place, or whether Jon Huntsman’s New Hampshire strategy pays off. And then there is always Newt Gingrich, who has promised to turn the heat up on Mitt Romney. This is going to be an interesting week.