Iowa Republican caucuses, January 3, 2012
Candidate Votes Percentage
Rick Santorum 29,839 24.56%
Mitt Romney 29,805 24.53%
Ron Paul 26,036 21.43%
Newt Gingrich 16,163 13.30%
Rick Perry 12,557 10.33%
Michele Bachmann 6,046 4.98%
Jon Huntsman 739 0.61%
No preference 147 0.12%
Herman Cain 45 0.04%
Buddy Roemer 17 0.01%
Total: 121,394 100.0%

See Update Below

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney barely beat our former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum for the top spot in Iowa on Tuesday. The counting went into the wee hours of the morning down to a handful of votes.

Report from the Des Moines Register:

Rivals Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum waged a down-to-the-wire battle for the Iowa Republican caucuses Tuesday, but shortly after 1:30 a.m. today, Romney was declared the victor by eight votes.

Romney won 30,015 votes, compared with 30,007 for Santorum, out of 122,255 cast.

Each of the men won 25 percent of the vote and proclaimed victory.

Ron Paul was third, followed by Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann and Jon Huntsman.

Romney’s campaign strategists had carefully staged expectations to persuade the public and media that the former Massachusetts governor could emerge strongly from Iowa with a close second- or third-place finish.

Romney nearly avoided campaigning in Iowa for the most part so this will be a big victory for him. Rick Santorum came from single-digit numbers into almost winning the whole thing which certainly creates a new dynamic in the race.

Major Update

After a recount, the Iowa Republican Party has now stated that Rick Santorum was the actual winner of the Iowa caucuses.