Rick Santorum surged into a virtual tie with Mitt Romney in the Iowa caucus votes, the difference being a mere 8 votes. Ron Paul came in third. Here are the results, with the raw numbers and the percentages:
Mitt Romney 30,015 24.6%
Rick Santorum 30,007 24.5%
Ron Paul 26,219 21.4%
Newt Gingrich 16,251 13.3%
Rick Perry 12,604 10.3%
Michele Bachmann 6,073 5.0%
Jon Huntsman 745 0.6%
Others 341 0.3%
I’d like to credit my “What’s Wrong with Santorum?” post for turning the tide to him. (The post was linked to a lot and picked up by a Christian news aggregator.) [I don’t seriously think that. It was obvious for social conservatives to finally consider the last man standing. And if anyone read the comments, they would see that you readers found quite a bit wrong with him.]
But still, does this make Santorum the non-Paul alternative to Mitt Romney?
Paul performed worse than expected. He did, however, win one of the proverbial three tickets out of Iowa.
There was a big gap with the other candidates. How the mighty Newt has fallen! And Perry! And Bachmann, the winner of the Iowa straw poll! If their supporters rally to Santorum, though, the percentages add up dramatically in his favor. Do you think that will happen?