The AP’s Beaumont: “In many ways distinctly different, Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney took near opposite paths to twin victories in Iowa's presidential caucuses.”
With 30,015 votes, Romney finished six votes short of his 2008 total of 30,021.
The New Hampshire Union Leader: “Romney edges Santorum by 8 votes in Iowa caucuses; on to NH.”
“Mitt Romney’s quest to swiftly lock down the Republican presidential nomination with a commanding finish in the Iowa caucuses was undercut on Tuesday night by the surging candidacy of Rick Santorum, who fought him to a draw on a shoestring budget by winning over conservatives who remain skeptical of Mr. Romney,” the New York Times says.
The New York Daily News: “Mitt Romney tops Rick Santorum in historically-close Iowa caucuses.” Its lede: “Mitt Romney pulled off a shocker over a surging Rick Santorum in an historically-close Iowa caucuses Tuesday night - winning by a razor-thin eight votes out of nearly 122,000 that were cast. Santorum’s strong showing dashed Mitt Romney’s hopes to quickly lock up the inside track to the GOP nomination.”
The New York Post front page: “GOP dead heat.”
The State newspaper in Columbia, S.C.: “Right candidate could topple Romney in S.C.”
The AP: “Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney waged a seesaw battle for supremacy in Iowa's Republican presidential caucuses late Tuesday night, a dramatic opening round for the campaign to pick a challenger to President Barack Obama.” It called the dead heat, a fitting conclusion to a race as jumbled as any since Iowa gained the lead-off position in presidential campaigns four decades ago. Regardless of the outcome, there was enough for both to claim a victory -- Romney as the man to beat for the party's nomination and Santorum as the leader among those struggling to emerge as the former governor's unvarnished conservative rival in the primaries yet to come.”
“Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said he's looking forward to a long nomination race as he finished in a dead heat Tuesday with Rick Santorum in the Iowa caucuses,” AP’s Hunt writes.
“Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum declared that his strong Iowa showing means it's ‘game on’ for the party's presidential nomination, and he's heading to New Hampshire for round two,” AP’s Glover writes.
BACHMANN: “Michele Bachmann told a small group of supporters Tuesday night that she's staying in the presidential race as the only true conservative who can defeat the sitting president, despite a bleak showing in the Iowa caucuses,” the New York Daily News writes. “The Minnesota congresswoman was running in last place among six candidates as returns came in from the nation's first Republican presidential nominating contest.”
HUNTSMAN: “As all eyes turn from Iowa to New Hampshire, Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman today sharpened his critique of his major rival in New Hampshire, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney,” the Boston Globe writes. Huntsman said: “If you’re the largest recipient of funds from the banking sector, as Governor Romney is, for example, do you think you can fix what needs to be fixed?” No way, no how. It’ll be a status quo outcome.”
Yesterday, Huntsman had a message for whoever the winner is of the Iowa caucuses, per NBC’s Jo Ling Kent: "Welcome to New Hampshire. Nobody cares."
Marking his 150th public campaign event last night, Huntsman -- who skipped campaigning in Iowa and is fully focused on New Hampshire -- got his biggest New Hampshire audience since entering the GOP race, with more than 350 people packing an iconic town hall.
PAUL: “Ron Paul, the libertarian maverick, displayed the strength of his candidacy among young people at a joint public event on caucus day,” the Boston Globe writes.
PERRY: “Perry’s stunning revelation – which pundits believe will soon lead to the official termination of his campaign – was a stark reversal from his tough talk just hours before,” the New York Daily News writes. “He vowed to stay in the race. Perry released a campaign schedule for South Carolina – held in two weeks – and he also announced a TV ad buy in the Palmetto State, seemingly clear signals that he intended to fight in the Southern battleground state.”
ROMNEY: “Mitt Romney likes to boast that he built his 2012 presidential campaign for the long haul. Good thing,” the Boston Globe’s Glen Johnson writes. “By virtually splitting the vote in last night’s Iowa caucuses with Rick Santorum and Ron Paul, Romney not only gained an emboldened opponent with an organization of this own (Paul), but also one with an ideological backing that has always eluded him (Santorum). In addition, he now faces a trident of sorts, as a wounded Newt Gingrich launches his own assault on the former Massachusetts governor.”