Mitt Romney Wins Iowa; Perry to Reassess His Campaign

The people of Iowa have spoken as the first test of the presidential election cycle draws to a close.

Posted: 01/03/2012 10:45 PM EST

Only one Republican will face off against President Barack Obama in the upcoming election and tonight Iowa voters are making their voices heard in a race that is proving to be close.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney officially won the Iowa caucuses by eight votes. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum came in second with 30,007 votes. Texas Rep. Ron Paul was third.

"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.

While Iowa caucus-goers are credited with selecting Barack Obama to the general election in 2008, they selected Gov. Mike Huckabee, not Sen. John McCain, as their choice for the Republican nominee. 

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)