Can you win and still lose? In Iowa you can.

For those of you with sleep disorders and or an unnatural addiction to the American political process, I don’t need to belabor the point that last nights Iowa Caucuses were great theater.  Tension and drama filled the night when a 2-hour state-wide town meeting turns into a six-plus game of Where’s Waldo.  Well, after all the stumping, campaigning, and baby-kissing is over, the final result is Romney wins Iowa by 8 percent votes.

That’s right boys and girls.  The “Great Republican Hope”, the only one with the machine to beat Obama, “Mr. Moderate”, Mitt Romney wins Iowa by a whole 8 votes after campaigning for president the last 5 years.  Lets review shall we?

Comparison of Iowa Caucus Results

  • 2008 – Mitt Romney – 30,021 votes out of 119,188
  • 2012  – Mitt Romney – 30,015 votes out of 121,972 (apx)

With no money and almost no machinery in place, Iowans chose Santorum over Romney on an almost 1-for-1 basis.  Even as the highest profile candidate, Iowans chose any one else (even Ron Paul) over Romney by a 3-to-1 margin.  This is not a win for the former Governor of Massachusetts.

The media coverage this week will all be about Santorum’s surge and how that will translate to New Hampshire.  Can he win with so little lead time, no organization in place, and no ability to buy television commercials (all the local market ad time is already owned by other candidates)?  That is the wrong question.  Here are the questions that the press should be asking as the run off to the Granite State…

  • Can Romney still win New Hampshire by the overwhelming margin shown in the polls after campaigning there for years?
  • Will the folks in New Hampshire be looking for the un-Romney when they go to the polls next week?
  • How well do the other candidates have to perform for the GOP and media establishments to realize that conservatives are not impressed by Mitt’s “apparatus”?
  • Will Jon Huntsman finally lay off the tanning cream or is the “safety orange look” to keep from being shot accidentally during (lame) duck season?

The return to conservatism in America is where the energy is coming from in this election cycle.  Americans are tired of platitudes from establishment anointed “contenders”.  As we race through January’s marathon of remaining primaries the voters are going to continue to resist any candidate who declares that they are the ‘only’ chance.  Obama is eminently beatable.  The President himself knows this.  It’s why he’s getting in every round of free taxpayer funded round of golf he can.  After next January, he’ll have to wait for a tee time like everyone else.

Update:  Last night, despite massive technical obstacles, President Hope and Change narrowly wins the Democrat Iowa Caucus in an uncontested field.

Update:  John McCain rumored to endorse Romney at press conference later today.  Media forgets to ak if there are any more albatross we can hang around Mitt’s neck.

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