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PHOTO FINISH Romney Edges Santorum by 8 Votes Win McNamee / Getty Images

Romney Edges Santorum by 8 Votes

Any hopes Mitt Romney had of locking down the GOP nomination with an early Iowa victory were dashed by an incredibly close race between him and Rick Santorum. Romney eked out a victory by eight votes, 30,015 to 30,007. That's great news for Santorum, who trailed in the polls until recently, though it must be noted that while Santorum poured resources into the state, Romney ignored it for much of the year and even skipped the Ames straw poll. Ron Paul finished third with 26,219 votes. New Gingrich got 13 percent and says he's staying in, while Rick Perry got 10 percent and says he's returning to Texas to “assess” the results. Michele Bachmann got 5 percent and says she's not backing down. Next up: New Hampshire, where Romney has a commanding lead in the polls.

January 4, 2012 6:23 AM