News / USA

Romney Takes Iowa; Bachmann Ends Candidacy

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney was declared winner of the Iowa caucuses by the narrowest of margins, claiming only eight votes over former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum in the first contest to secure the Republican Party nomination to run for president.

It was a big night for both candidates who were in a virtual tie for hours in what is being called one of the closest races in Iowa caucus history.

Romney and Santorum each received nearly 25 percent of the vote. In third place was Congressman Ron Paul of Texas with 21 percent.

 

It was an especially big night for long-shot contender and social-conservative favorite Santorum, whose campaign has surged in the final weeks.

"You have taken the first step of taking back this country," Santorum said of his showing.

Romney, long considered by many the leading contender for the nomination, has remained at the top of the pack despite Santorum's recent surge and an earlier one by former House speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia.

"This is a campaign night where America wins," said Romney. "We are going to change [the] White House and get America back on track."

Congressman Paul thanked his supporters for their "energy and efforts." "But what makes me feel really good about it is that you are doing it because you believe in something,” he said.

Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who finished sixth, announced she was pulling out of the race during a press conference on Wednesday.

Gingrich, a former House speaker, came in fourth place and vowed to campaign on in New Hamsphire, which holds its primary on January 10.

It was a disappointing night for Texas Governor Rick Perry, who came in fifth place and said he would return to Texas to reconsider his campaign.

Former U.S. ambassador Jon Huntsman came in last with one percent. Huntsman has not campaigned in Iowa and has said he is pinning his hopes on a good showing in New Hampshire.

Across Iowa, voters gathered at caucus sites, often nothing but small meeting rooms where votes are counted by hand.

At a much larger gathering at a high school near Des Moines, Samona Joy Yentes lobbied neighbors on behalf of Santorum and even addressed the caucus.

“We want to send you a strong candidate that we believe will go toe to toe and will defeat Barack Obama and provide strong leadership for our nation,” said Yentes.

The close finish in Iowa could signal a long and divisive Republican primary campaign, says pollster Frank Luntz.

“It is interesting that some Republicans are more interested in defeating each other than they are in defeating the president," said Luntz. "That is not going to play well over the long term.”

President Obama addressed Democrats caucusing for him in Iowa, and Democratic Party chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said the president is ready to face whichever Republican wins the nomination.

Obama is “fighting for the middle class, [and] beginning to get the economy turned around," said Wasserman, who vowed to defeat "Republicans, any one of them, that want us to return to the failed policies of the past that brought us to the precipice of economic disaster."

The Republican race now shifts to New Hampshire primary battleground where Mitt Romney is a strong favorite.

Romney's campaign is expected to get another boost Wednesday with an endorsement from 2008 Republican presidential candidate, Senator John McCain.

While the results from Iowa put Romney and Santorum on top, they forced former front-runner and Texas governor Rick Perry to question the future of his presidential bid.  Perry said in a speech late Tuesday that he will head home to Texas to reconsider his campaign after finishing fifth with 10 percent of the vote, behind Gingrich.

The Democratic Party also held its caucuses. President Obama was unopposed for the party nomination, but hosted a live web chat with supporters in Iowa Tuesday night.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Photogallery Early Nigeria Results Show Buhari Leading; Tampering Concerns Mount

One local group monitoring polls is concerned politicians might use security agencies to 'fiddle with the election collation process' at state level More

UN: 7,300 Civilians Killed in Boko Haram Insurgency

A senior UN humanitarian official tells the United Nations Security Council 1,000 people have been killed this year More

Turkish President Warns Iran About Trying to Dominate Middle East

Warning comes amid growing concerns inside Turkey that it will be sucked into a sectarian conflict with its neighbor More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More