As you know the Iowa Republican Caucus was a few days ago, and as per view request I am giving my take on the results. The results were former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney winning by a narrow margin. This narrow margin was over the other front runner, former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum. Romney defeated Santorum by only eight votes, winning by 30,015 to 30,007. These results were announced by Republican Party officials on Wednesday. In third place was the insurgent libertarian in the Republican Party Ron Paul by a small margin. The remaining candidates composed the other 30% of the vote. Newt Gingrich at 13%, Rick Perry at 10%, Michelle Bachmann at 6% and former US ambassador to China, Jon Huntsman (who might as well not have even shown up) at 1%.
Its important to note that while Mitt Romney was the winner, Iowa only counts for 1% of the population, thus has an almost negligible effect on the final vote on becoming the presidential nominee. To put it simply as Al Jazeera’s Alan Fisher says, “You can’t win the presidential nomination in Iowa, but you can lose it”. The biggest boost to Romney was the endorsement of former presidential candidate John McCain. He said, “I’m really here for one reason and one reason only, and that is to make sure that we make Mitt Romney the next president of the United States of America.” That is quite an endorsement.
It was the poor showing in Iowa that led Michele Bachmann, the Minnesota congresswoman to quit her big for nomination for Republican Presidential candidate. She was the Tea Party favourite expecting to do well with their backing. Not only that, but she was born in Iowa and that led many to believe that at least should would receive a good boost from that fact alone. However that was not the case, it was disastrous. Her campaign was also harmed by a string of unfortunate events. Many fact-checking blogs have exposed lies she’s made and exaggerations she’s made. Despite all that, the real harm to her bid has come from her ultra-Christian fundamentalism views. Her previous statement about closing down the US Embassy in Iran that doesn’t exist is a red flag to any left or centre Republican. I personally think its a good sign that Bachmann has had such a bad showing in Iowa. To me it may demonstrate a shift (even a small one) away from religious fundamentalism that pervades American politics.
Newt Gingrich has suffered immensely in this campaign. Previously he was doing quite well among conservative voters. In fact he was the front runner in many polls. Most, if not all of the damage to him has come from a multi-million dollar campaign attack ads that are supposedly from a third party source. Gingrich himself believes it to be the work of Romney. During the debate he lost his cool and outright called Romney “a liar” for denying he knew anything about the ads.
Ron Paul has been doing better than he ever has in the past. That’s a fact, he has cash and very committed followers (and they are followers despite what they might say). The rise in popularity is not unexpected. The American public, both Democrat and Republican, are tired of war and tired of large debt. Those two problems are on the minds of almost all voters. Even though both sides have a different view on how to solve these problems, they both, have a common ground in acknowledging them. Unfortunately for him, his extreme solutions are causing a bi-partisan division. His desire to end expensive military operations bodes well with liberals, but his economic policy which would be devastating to human life is completely alienating. Conservatives on the other hand mostly support his economic policy; but detest his stance on military operations which they believe would leave America vulnerable to perceived threats.
Its because of this main factor and a few smaller ones that Ron Paul won’t win nomination for president. As many of his followers, as well as he himself seems to forget, he’s in the Republican party. It’s obvious that libertarian principles will conflict with Republican principles.
As for Jon Huntsman who got 1% of the vote. That makes Jon Huntsman the 1%.