"Game on," declared Santorum.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry came in fifth and told supporters he was going back to Texas to reassess his candidacy.
In the bottom tier of votes was former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Rep. Michele Bachmann and former Utah Gov. Jon Hunstman.
While each candidate is vying for the coveted number-one spot, placing in the top tier is still respectable enough to be considered a serious contender for the nomination.
Because Iowa does not have a substantial African-American population, critics have also questioned how representative the results the state’s caucuses can be.
Unlike many states, the economy may not have been a driving issue for Iowa voters. The Associated Press reports that Iowa’s 5.7 unemployment rate is among the lowest in the nation; far below the national jobless rate of 8.6 percent. But according to the Iowa Commission on the Status of African-Americans’ reporting, the Black unemployment rate is above 10 percent, significantly lower than the overall Black unemployment rate of about 16 percent.
Even though it is a big night for Republicans, Obama made his presence known via a live video teleconference. He spoke to Democrats participating in caucuses throughout the state tonight, making the case for why they should support him in his bid for a second term.
One Caucus-goer asked the president how he responds to people who say he hasn’t done enough. “We’ve done a lot and we have a lot more to do,” Obama replied. “That’s why we need four more years.”
The nation’s attention will now turn to New Hampshire, which will hold its primary on Jan. 10 before the last primaries of the month to be held in South Carolina and Florida.
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(Photo: Jeff Haynes/Reuters)