Omaha Public Radio News
3:03 pm
Wed January 4, 2012

Nearly 123,000 Iowans voted in GOP caucus

Omaha, NE – A UNO political scientist says the results of Tuesday night's Iowa caucus show divisions in the state's Republican party.

Eight votes separated the caucus winner, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, from second-place finisher Rick Santorum, a former Senator from Pennsylvania. Nearly 123,000 Iowans participated in the GOP caucus.

Randy Adkins, who teaches political science at UNO, says Santorum's very close second place finish was the surprise of the caucus. He believes Santorum did well by running a low-key campaign and picking up endorsements from the evangelical community. Adkins says Santorum was also helped by social conservatives who waited until close to the caucus to decide which candidate they'd choose.

Adkins believes next week's New Hampshire primary will be important for Santorum and Paul. Following that is the South Carolina Primary, where fourth and fifth-place Iowa finishers Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry could be a factor.

Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who finished last in the Iowa caucus, ended her presidential campaign Wednesday.