Presidential Nomination: Iowa

03 Jan 2012

In the case that you are wondering about the results of the Iowa Republican caucus:

A candidate will need 1,145 to win the nomination. Long road ahead and so forth. Still, there is some depth to the results of this incredibly boring political “vote”.

Rick Perry has already suspended his campaign, which comes as a surprise to absolutely nobody. Both Michele Bachman and Jon Huntsman should do the same, although it is likely that Huntsman will stick around to see if his recent surge is anything more than an anomalous blip.

Rick Santorum is happy with first place in Iowa, although he should not be: his campaign has neither the national drive nor the funding to be able to succeed on a larger scale. This is a case of winning a battle that has absolutely no bearing on the overall war. His only hope at continued success will depend on gaining the support of all remaining stragglers: Perry, Bachmann, and Huntsman – even then, both Mitt Romney and Ron Paul will much stronger bases in many of the upcoming battleground states. New Hampshire’s primary on Saturday will likely blow all the wind out of his campaign especially when Paul and Romney launch attacks on him. It will force him to combat those ads with money that he does not have to spare, in the hopes that it will sustain him long enough to stay afloat instead of allowing him to take advantage of the Iowa results.

Mitt Romney will have a small measure of satisfaction with a tie for first place. While he would have loved to sweep the state, his campaign was more focused on ensuring that neither Rick Perry nor Newt Gingrich were able to gain any significant momentum early on in the process. He will probably win the New Hampshire primary by a significant margin which should help him pull support away from Gingrich in both South Carolina and Florida. If he can manage a win in one or both of those primaries, it is going to make his February lead-up to Super Tuesday much easier.

Newt Gingrich has to hope that Iowa is not a predictor of South Carolina or Florida – two states that he currently leads, much as he did Iowa until mid-December. Now his campaign claims to be moving onto New Hampshire, a state that Romney is going to take by a landslide. He should reconsider and move onto primary states in which he can win. Overtaking Ron Paul for second place might provide him with some personal satisfaction, but it will most certainly cost him in later battlegrounds.

Meanwhile, Barack Obama threw a party and talked about the economy. And, I guess, won the Iowa Democratic caucus too. If that counts for anything.