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Romney wins Iowa by 8 votes

[ 2012-01-05 11:13]     字号 [] [] []  
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Mitt Romney won the first battle in the 2012 White House race in dramatic fashion on Wednesday, wresting Iowa from devout Christian conservative Rick Santorum by just eight votes.

The result cemented Romney's status as the front-runner for the Republican nomination to take on President Barack Obama in November, but failed to dispel lingering doubts about the extent of his popularity.

In one of the closest finishes in presidential campaign history, Romney trailed Santorum by four votes with one precinct left to report.

But after an agonizing delay, the final votes turned things around and gave Romney a razor-thin 30,015 to 30,007 victory.

"Congratulations to governor Mitt Romney, winner of the 2012 Iowa caucuses. Congratulations to Sen Santorum for a very close second-place finish, an excellent race here," Iowa Republican Party Chairman Matt Strawn said.

The result capped a remarkable performance by Santorum, written off a few weeks ago and now suddenly propelled into the top tier of candidates seeking the Republican crown to challenge Obama on Nov 6.

"Game on," Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator, told cheering supporters after his exhaustive months-long, on-the-ground campaign paid off. "You have taken the first step in taking back this country."

The devout Catholic, who opposes abortion and contraception and has a hawkish foreign policy, took a shot at Romney's more centrist views, saying, "What wins in America are bold ideas, sharp contrasts."

Romney, a wealthy former Massachusetts governor and venture capitalist, said he and Santorum each had "a great victory" and congratulated Rep Ron Paul on his third-place finish - then trained his guns on Obama.

"This has been a failed presidency," Romney said late on Tuesday, in a variation of the stump speech he used in Iowa, calling Obama "in over his head" and vowing, "I will go to work to get America back to work."

Romney and Santorum ended with 25 percent of the vote each, Paul stood at 21 percent, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich led the second tier of candidates with about 13 percent of the vote.

After the bruising contest, at least one candidate, Texas Gov Rick Perry, indicated his presidential bid may be over.

"I've decided to return to Texas, assess the results of tonight's caucus, determine whether there is a path forward for myself in this race," Perry said after a disappointing fifth-place finish.

Voters gathered in schools, churches and other venues on a cold evening in the Midwestern state, listening to supporters tout the various candidates before casting their ballots. Democrats and independents were allowed to participate as long as they re-registered as Republicans at the site.

Gingrich saw his support dwindle under a barrage of attack advertisements, many from a SuperPAC run by Romney allies.


1. Who won the first battle in the 2012 White House race?

2. What was the vote?

3. Who may be dropping out of the race?


1. Mitt Romney

2. 30,015 to 30,007

3. Texas Gov Rick Perry

(中国日报网英语点津 Rosy 编辑)

Romney wins Iowa by 8 votes

About the broadcaster:

Romney wins Iowa by 8 votes

Nelly Min is an editor at China Daily with more than 10 years of experience as a newspaper editor and photographer. She has worked at major newspapers in the US, including the Los Angeles Times and the Detroit Free Press. She is also fluent in Korean.