A few take-aways from the Tuesday night Republican precinct caucuses in Iowa:
- A look at the results map shows Mitt Romney getting his support from urban Iowa and Rick Santorum getting his support from rural Iowa. It will be interesting to see if that pattern continues in other states.
- Determining a headline with such a close race so close to deadline in time for the start of the printing press made for an interesting challenge. One early thought for The Gazette newspaper was: "Triple header". It was a work in progress. The end result: "Iowa's triple header." Ron Paul didn't tie with the other two but he was within striking distance.
- The Iowa GOP caucuses may have been more about losing than winning. The leading three are close enough that each can claim victory. But the others have ground to make up in New Hampshire.
- Making up that ground is doable. The winners in Iowa were supported by only one of every four people (Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney) casting votes or, in Ron Paul's case, one of five.
- Support for the candidates actually boils down to who is supported by the people were selected as delegates to county conventions. We know that some caucus participants simply voted in the preference poll and went home, not understanding the system Republicans use when caucusing in presidential election years.
- A big decision for Republicans appears to be whether they will gang up against Mitt Romney or gang up in support of him. Rick Santorum figures to be interested in how that plays out.
- Worth asking is whether the Iowa caucuses were held too early, given that voters still aren't sure who they want to support. Before jumping to the answer of that, however, it also is worth asking whether weeding out some losers earlier in the process was a benefit.
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This certainly has been an interesting Republican caucus. The Democrats in Iowa likely are enjoying watching the scrum.