Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Live-blogging Iowa

1:09 AM: Santorum up by 18 votes with 99% in.

Take-aways from tonight:

a. Huge win for Santorum.

b. Mixed for Romney.

c. Win for Gingrich.

d. Losses for Perry and Bachmann, who are probably both dropping out.

I'll have more tomorrow morning... night.

11:41 PM.
90 vote difference between Santorum and Romney with 96% in.

10:51 PM:
NBC and ABC both report Paul finishing 3rd. Not the night he was hoping for.

10:49 PM: A remarkable statistic from Peter Hamby -- Bachmann won more votes in the straw poll than she has, so far, tonight.

10:33 PM:
Fox News calls it Gingrich, Perry, and Bachmann at 4th, 5th, and 6th, respectively.

That's really big. Gingrich can now successfully argue that he's a more electable anti-Romney than Perry, especially considering how much Perry threw into Iowa.

10:30 PM: 46% reporting.

1. Rick Santorum and MItt Romney 24%

3. Ron Paul 22%

4. Newt Gingrich 13%

5. Ron Paul 10%

6. Michele Bachmann 6%

10: 16 PM: Sarah Palin, continuing to defend Ron Paul tonight.

"The GOP had better not marginalize Ron Paul and his supporters after this, because Ron Paul and his supporters understand that a lot of Americans are war-weary and we are broke.

And he has reached these constituencies whom are very concerned about the solvency of the U.S. and he has proposed solutions.... so the GOP had better listen to what these Ron Paul supporters are saying and better work with them."

9:55 PM:
So much for Paul's +50% on Intrade. Romney's made a big move.

Intrade Iowa:

1. Mitt Romney 58% chance of winning.

2. Ron Paul 28%

3. Rick Santorum 27%

Huge vacillation. Bettors clearly don't know anymore than anyone else.

9:35 PM: Charles Krauthammer
, on Fox News, is bearish on Rick Perry.

"I think he's the one right now who's had the worst night. He's spent millions of dollars, and yes, he has the money, but he spent so much of it in Iowa which should have been friendly territory that it implies the money isn't going to help him in the future."

9:29 PM: 21% of results in.

Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum are tied at 23% each.

9:25 PM:
It looks like Santorum is only going to be spending one day in South Carolina next week; the rest of the time he's going to New Hampshire.

Not terribly smart for a guy who's polling at just 5% in the Granite State and has a chance to play much more competitively in South Carolina.

On Fox News, though, Karl Rove agrees with Santorum's decision.

"I think he almost has to go to New Hampshire to keep it [the momentum up]"

9:11 PM: Reportedly, Bachmann's staff is telling her to get out of the race... Pretty much everyone on cable agrees.

8:58 PM: Big jump for Paul on Intrade (presumably, off the CNN numbers).

1. Paul 49% chance of winning.

2. Romney 34%

3. Santorum 15%

8:47 PM:
After all waves of CNN entrance polls, here are the numbers.

1. Paul 24%

2. Romney 23%

3. Santorum 19%

That's better for Paul and worse for Santorum than most, including myself, predicted.

But these are entrance polls, and sometimes -- as Romney could tell you -- people change their minds.

8:35 PM:
Evangelicals are, reportedly, making up about 58% of the vote.

8:32 PM:
Matt Lewis reports that Newt is hitting Mitt with this ad in tomorrow's New Hampshire Union-Leader.

8:17 PM:
Sweet! CNN's entrance poll
. Tons of cool numbers (although these aren't as reliable as a traditional primary's exit polling).

8:13 PM:
Fox News entrance poll.

Tea partiers support.

1. Ron Paul 25%

2. Santorum 24%

3. Romney 18%

4. Gingrich 15%

8:10 PM:
A reason for Santorum to smile.

8:02 PM:
NBC, ABC, and Fox have all said that -- based on early entrance polls -- it's a three-way race among* Santorum, Romney, and Paul.

*Yes, "among" is right here. It's not "between." You only use between when comparing two things. If it's three or more, you use "among." I know it doesn't sound right, but neither does Nickelback.

7:53 PM:
A self-deprecatory Steve Hayes gives his predics.

My prediction, not worth much: Santorum 28, Romney 25, Paul 19, Perry 13, Gingrich 9, Bachmann 5.

7:39 PM: Intrade Check -- Romney has slipped below 50% in Iowa.

1. Romney 43%

2. Santorum 29%

3. Paul 28%

7:34 PM:
If you prefer your candidates dressed, Scott Conroy has Santorum swaggering into Johnston, Iowa tonight.

7:23 PM:
Via Fox News Nation, here's Rick Santorum, unclothing himself.

7:12 PM: Rick Perry's SC buy is, reportedly, $265K.

6:56 PM:
Charles Krauthammer endorses Santorum's importance.

"Santorum isn't just the last man standing. He's somebody with a very long history. He's got a lot of legislative experience, he obviously is committed to the cause. He's extremely knowledgeable and [has] showed it in these debates.

.... So I think this is not just any candidate. I think it's one who clearly is plausibly presidential in the way I think Romney is."

That being said, he doesn't see a clear path for him beyond tonight.

6:28 PM: My official predictions for tonight.

1. Romney

2. Santorum

3. Paul

4. Perry

5. Gingrich.

6:23 PM: Jon Huntsman's had plenty of second looks, but Erick Erickson still thinks he'll get more.

While I have issues with his record as Governor, it is much more conservative than Mitt Romney’s and he has a much, much greater cross-party and independent appeal than Mitt Romney. People kind of like he doesn’t give a crap about pandering.

Huntsman actually does pander. He just panders to different people from the rest.

6:19 PM
. Rick Perry's buying TV time in South Carolina -- looks like he's not planning on going anywhere (besides SC, of course).