Shelby: The race to the White House is on! And last night, Republicans in Iowa voted for the candidate they think should go up against President Barack Obama in the general election.
“Really, I think what it comes down to is we want to find the best person with the best credentials who can beat President Obama.”
Shelby: It was a heated race where every vote made a difference.
Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum were neck-and-neck. But in the end, late last night, Mitt Romney came out on top, just beating out Rick Santorum by only a few votes.
The 2012 Republican Iowa caucus could be the closest in history. Just before the vote, Romney assured Republicans that he is the best candidate to run against President Obama.
Governor Mitt Romney: It has been a failed presidency when it comes to our economy. And then of course there is the budget and government itself.
Shelby: Even though the other candidates didn’t win the top spot in Iowa, the fight isn’t over. They say it is just round one in a long battle to come.
“There is nothing to be ashamed of; everything to be proud of. Be ready to move on to New Hampshire.”
Shelby: Experts say the Iowa caucus is important because it can narrow and shape the field of candidates. Because Iowa is the first state to sound off, the results can give some candidates momentum and force others to re-evaluate, or even end, their campaigns.
Still, the results of the Iowa caucus represent the viewpoints of a small, not very diverse, fraction of the American population. And the event is just the beginning of a long race to the November election.
Other states will hold votes in the coming weeks. Next up will be New Hampshire on January 10th. Then South Carolina and Florida later this month. But a lot could happen between now and August, when the Republicans officially choose their candidate.
Shelby Holliday, Channel One News.