|Boy, don't they look excited? Image from MSNBC|
UPDATE: As I watch at 8:42 PST, Rick Santorum has 79 votes more than Mitt Romney, a statistical tie of 25%. Ron Paul petered out at 21%, and Michele Bachmann and Newt Gingrich gave speeches that made it sound like they won.
The numbers above may change a little. And Rick Santorum, Ron Paul or Mitt Romney could end up in almost any order. People are saying that if Ron Paul or Rick (don't Google me) Santorum win, it will mean curtains for Iowa's 1st-in-the-nation status. But does it matter when the grouping is this tight? From my experience with a little Iowa extremism, they really wanted an extreme right-winger. And with these three, you've got 1) Mitt, the moderate, 2) Paul, the nutjob and 3) Santorum, the religious tight ass. So, maybe Santorum (only in the upper tier in the last week remember) and Paul split the crazy/religious pack, and Romney gets his usual twenty-something percent.
But you know what? I think that's good news for Romney. He tied the guys with the frothing fervor! So, when he gets to New Hampshire and to other less evangelical states, he may just do all right. The funny thing is, Romney is the only one we on the left are really worried about. If President Obama can't beat the stuffing out of Santorum, Paul or any of the rest, he doesn't deserve to win. Romney's a little tighter race, except that the hardcore right says they refuse to vote for him! Which also gives Obama a leg up, unless the FReeper contingent is lying. I wouldn't put it past them.
NBC News: Paul, Romney and Santorum competing to win Iowa caucus
A closely-fought battle between a trio of candidates in Tuesday's Iowa caucuses is poised to add an element of certainty to the unsettled race for the Republican presidential nomination.
Iowans began gathering throughout the state at 8 p.m. ET to caucus for their preferred candidate for the GOP nomination. As of that time, NBC News projects the race as too close to call. . .
Read more at: MSNBC