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Riding the Tiger > Category: The Horserace

Riding The Tiger

“I discovered that being a President is like riding a tiger. A man has to keep on riding or be swallowed.” Harry S. Truman

Santorum Sweeps Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri in Feb. 7 Contests

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum won yesterday’s Colorado and Minnesota caucuses, as well as Missouri’s “beauty contest” primary, introducing an element of doubt into Mitt Romney’s status as frontrunner for the GOP nomination. Santorum is the only Republican contender with four notches in his belt, having previously won the much maligned Iowa caucus.

Santorum won with 55% of the vote in Missouri, 40% in Colorado, and 45% in Minnesota. Romney came in second in Missouri and Colorado, but Ron Paul claimed that position in the Minnesota contest.

Romney Takes the Nevada Caucus

Mitt Romney in October 2011

Mitt Romney at the Values Voter Summit in DC in October 2011.  Photo by Gage Skidmore.

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney captured 50% of the vote in the February 4 Nevada caucuses, winning 16,486 votes, compared to runner-up Newt Gingrich’s 6,956 votes for 21% of the total. Ron Paul came in a close third with 6,175 votes (19%), and Rick Santorum finished fourth with 3,277 votes (10%).

Romney’s second straight campaign win puts some distance between him and the other candidates in the field, and confirms his status as the prohibitive front-runner in the GOP presidential race. In his victory speech, Romney focused his remarks on President Barack Obama instead of his Republican rivals, a clue to who Romney considers his real competition.

Florida Primary Goes to Romney

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney regained momentum with a critical win in yesterday’s Florida primary. Romney received 46% of the vote, a double digit lead ahead of Newt Gingrich’s 32%. Rick Santorum came in third with 13%, followed by Ron Paul with 7%.

Florida’s primary is the most significant of the nominating contests so far in terms of numbers, with 50 delegates up for grabs. 

Romney’s defeat in Florida during the 2008 election cycle effectively ended his bid to become the Republican Party nominee.

Gingrich Winner of South Carolina Primary

Newt Gingrich and wife Callista

Newt Gingrich at a town hall meeting in New Hampshire.  Courtesy of Gage Skidmore.

Former House speaker Newt Gingrich has won a decisive victory in South Carolina following strong performances in the last two Republican debates. Winning 40% of the vote with 244,113 total votes, Gingrich easily defeated runner-up Mitt Romney, who received 168,152 votes, finishing at 28%. Rick Santorum took third, followed by Ron Paul.

The results in South Carolina should reinvigorate Gingrich’s campaign, which had all but stalled out after disappointing finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire.

This year marks the first time that a different candidate has won each of the first three nominating contests.

So Who Won the Iowa Caucus?  No One!  WAIT, No, Rick Santorum (UPDATED)

In a reversal of earlier reported results, the final vote certification process in Iowa has shown that former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum received 34 more votes than rival Mitt Romney.

Party officials found inaccurate counts in 131 Iowa precincts, leading to a revised tally showing Santorum, with 29,839 votes, ahead of Romney, who received 29,805 votes. Initial, but uncertified, results immediately following the Caucus had Romney the victor by 8 votes.

However, results from eight precincts are missing and will not be counted, so the ultimate tally remains inconclusive.

The news comes at a pivotal moment, two days before the South Carolina primary, which is often a proving ground for the eventual GOP nominee.

UPDATE, January 21: The Iowa Republican Party has officially declared Santorum the winner of the 2012 caucuses.

Perry Drops Out

Rick Perry in October 2011

Rick Perry at the Values Voter Summit in DC in October 2011.  Photo by Gage Skidmore.

Texas Governor Rick Perry dropped out of the race for the Republican presidential nominee today, after coming to the conclusion that he could see “no viable path to victory.” Perry came in fifth place in the Iowa Caucus, and finished last in New Hampshire. 

This move comes two days before the South Carolina primary, where polling has indicated low levels of support for Perry.

In prepared remarks, Perry endorsed fellow contender Newt Gingrich for president, calling him a “conservative visionary” who could “transform our country.”

Huntsman ends candidacy

Huntsman with wife Mary Kaye

Jon Huntsman on campaign trail in New Hampshire. Photo courtesy of Patrick Gensel

Jon Huntsman, former Utah governor and Ambassador to China, dropped out of the race for the GOP presidential nomination today, citing "it is now time for our party to unite around the candidate best equipped to defeat Barack Obama."  

He went on to say that candidate is Mitt Romney, who he called "unelectable" as recently as last week.  

Romney Wins New Hampshire Primary

Mitt Romney on the campaign trail

Mitt Romney in Paradise Valley, AZ in December 2011.  Courtesy of Gage Skidmore.

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney was the decisive winner in yesterday’s Republican primary in New Hampshire, garnering 39% of the vote with 97,532 votes. Congressman Ron Paul was the second place finisher, with 56,848 votes for 23% of the vote. Ambassador Jon Huntsman came in third with 41,945 votes for 17%, followed by Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and Rick Perry.

Romney’s win in the nation’s first political party primary election marks back-to-back wins, putting his campaign on strong footing going into South Carolina’s primary, which is historically key to the GOP presidential nomination. Since 1980, every South Carolina primary winner has gone on to win the Republican Party nomination.

Bachmann Ends White House Bid

Bachmann news conference

Michele Bachmann drops out of the race.  Photo courtesy of

Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann has dropped out of the race after a disappointing sixth place finish in the Iowa caucuses.

Bachmann had a promising start in Iowa, winning the Ames Straw Poll in August, but her support eroded steadily over the summer despite an aggressive campaign and tour of the state. She did not endorse another candidate.

Romney—no, Santorum—the Winner of the Iowa Caucus (UPDATED)

Rick Santorum on the campaign trail in Iowa

Rick Santorum campaigns in West Des Moines, Iowa.  Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore.

In the official kick-off to the 2012 horse race, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney barely edged out rival former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania to win yesterday’s Republican Party Caucus in Iowa by the slimmest of margins. Romney won 30,015 out of 122,255 cast votes, narrowly beating Santorum’s 30,007 votes. Coming in a close third was Congressman Ron Paul of Texas, followed more distantly by former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, Governor Rick Perry of Texas, Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, and former Governor of Utah and Ambassador to China, Jon Huntsman.

UPDATE, January 19:  After the official vote certification process, the Iowa Republican Party has declared Rick Santorum the winner of the Iowa caucuses by 34 votes.