“It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.” - Joseph Stalin
January 3, 2012
UPDATE 1:46 AM CENTRAL: Mitt Romney has now been announced as the winner of the Iowa caucus, dramatically leading Rick Santorum by only 8 votes.
The two candidates have wrestled back-and-forth for first as various locales checked in with GOP officials– who moved today to meet at an undisclosed location to count the votes in secret after the hacker collective Anonymous issued threats to disrupt the caucus.
Ron Paul at a close third with 21%, conceded the race calling himself ‘one of the three winners,’ and dubbed his performance ‘nothing to be ashamed of’. After all, he led polls for months leading into the contest, under heavy fire from media hacks aligned with the GOP establishment ever-eager to dismiss his viability. Paul vowed to fight on, continue raising funds and fighting for victory in what he termed a movement, rather than a campaign.
Santorum’s surprise last-minute surge coincides with announcements that the vote in Iowa would be counted at a secret location– yes, vague threats from hacker collective Anonymous gave the pretext to count the votes in secret– and also coincided with statements from top GOP officials strategizing how to effectively take out Ron Paul and diminish his significance. It is no secret that all the stops have been pulled to minimize Paul’s media visibility throughout the campaign trail, with many top GOP figures and media commentators going so far as to pre-script a plan to ignore Iowa in the event that Ron Paul won the caucuses, in order to prevent the Congressman from dominating the national stage.
Did the GOP establishment succeed in sabotaging Ron Paul in the Iowa caucus vote as it vowed to do?
What accounts for Santorum’s swift rise to the top of polls in Iowa only days out from the contest when he barely showed a pulse in ANY state, let alone Iowa, among the crowded GOP field at any time in the weeks and months before?
The Des Moines Register poll from ONLY two days ago showed Santorum at 15%– a distant third that itself marked a spectacular improvement from a campaign that struggled to even stand out among the ‘second tier’ of GOP candidates. Both Paul and Romney have consistently ranked in the top three in polls for Iowa for some time– many of which led into Iowa with Ron Paul at No. 1 and nearly all others showing him nearly certain for first or second place.
A CNN report from six days ago highlights Santorum’s rise to 16% in polls from only 5% at the beginning of December– similar to numbers he’s had through the campaign, as in this Dec. 20 poll. Public Policy Polling notes Santorum at only 10% during Dec. 26-27. So how did he rise so quickly?
Whatever the answer, for the so-called “mainstream” corporate-owned media who dominate news wires and cable television (but must now combat the rise of Internet journalism), it will be enough to justify ignoring Ron Paul and keeping him out of the headlines in hopes of sinking the entire campaign before it catches on at a truly national level.
2008 GOP running mate Sarah Palin surprisingly warned against the GOP trying to marginalize Ron Paul and his supporters after the third place finish.
“The GOP had better not marginalize Ron Paul and his supporters after this, because Ron Paul and his supporters understand that a lot of Americans are war-weary, and we are broke. And he has reached these constituencies who are very concerned about the solvency of the U.S., and he has proposed solutions with the austerity measures he’d like to see implemented. So the GOP had better listen to what these Ron Paul supporters are saying– they’d better work with them,” Palin told Fox News.
A GOP insider revealed a deal to swing votes away from Ron Paul in Iowa today, raising eyebrows and questions about validity of this oh-so-close caucus vote that leads the 2012 primary vote.
See the video below:
UPDATE: 1:17 AM CENTRAL: LIVE NUMBERS AT DRUDGE REPORT
UPDATE 12:45 CENTRAL: The close tie between Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney reached dramatic proportions as Santorum led by A SINGLE VOTE late into the night. The number has since shifted to four votes, but such a detail is sure to grab headlines, whoever wins the night according to the numbers presented to the public.
UPDATE 11:56 PM CENTRAL: With 99% of precincts in, reports put Rick Santorum a mere 5 votes ahead of Mitt Romney at 29,662-to-29,657– in a conspicuously close tie at 25%.
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UPDATE 10:48 PM CENTRAL: With 98% of precincts reporting, Mitt Romney again leads Rick Santorum by only a handful of votes, both at 25% in Iowa.
UPDATE 10:08 PM CENTRAL: With 89% reported counted votes, media say Romney leads by 125 votes, with a total of 27,101 to Santorum’s 26,976 (and counting), tied at 25% with the final result yet unclear. Ron Paul conceded 3rd place with about 21% of the vote, calling himself ‘one of the three winners,’ while vowing to go on, continue raising funds and fighting for victory in what he termed a movement, rather than a campaign.
UPDATE 10:00 PM CENTRAL: With a reported 88% of precincts counted, Santorum leads Romney by 13 votes, according to televised reports, who now project Ron Paul at third.
Iowa Results: Close race for Romney, Santorum, Ron Paul
UPDATE 9:54 PM CENTRAL: With some 54% of precincts reporting, a cross section of news outlets put Ron Paul closely behind Romney, Santorum at 22%.
With just under 55% of vote counted, Fox News predicts last 4 spots
9:31 PM With a shade under 55 percent of the Iowa caucus vote counted, FOX News is projecting former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich will finish fourth; Texas Gov. Rick Perry will finish fifth; and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann will come in sixth place in tonight’s Iowa Republican caucuses.
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Rep. Ron Paul are fighting for the top three spots. They are virtually tied, results show.
EARLY Iowa Results: Fox News Shows Ron Paul in Close Lead Over Romney with 13% Precint Reporting
UPDATE 8:22 PM CENTRAL: Both Fox News’ cable channel and a graphic at FoxNews.com show Ron Paul leading Romney 25% to 24% with Santorum close behind at 23%, with more than 13% of precints reporting.
Des Moines Register EARLY Vote Stats Put Santorum and Paul Neck-and-Neck:
Des Moines Register
January 3, 2012
UPDATED AT 8:13 PM CENTRAL
Iowa caucuses Live Results
Results updated at 7:45 pm