Iowa caucuses muddle may change race dynamic

Mitt Romney

A result flips, but does Mitt flop?

The narrative could be about to change. Remember, Iowa was never about how many delegates are won, it is about perception and momentum.

So the new story line for opponents will go something like this:

"No-one is really enthusiastic about Mitt. He's the reluctant pick of many because he looks like a winner.

"He's ahead in the polls, simply because he's always been ahead in the polls.

"But if he didn't win in Iowa and doesn't win in South Carolina, the rationale for his success is blown out of the water. Nothing fails like failure."

This a bit muddled. He's ahead because conservatives can't agree on an alternative, and many middle-of-the-road Republicans like the fact he's less radical and think he can beat Obama by reaching out to those in the centre ground.

Cool heads might conclude Iowa was in effect a tie on the night, and is still a tie now, but this flip flop is one Mitt can ill afford, and it just might help change the dynamic.

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US Presidential Election 2012


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  • rate this

    Comment number 15.

    3.Curt Carpenter:
    And the BIG question lingers: what will the Paul people do after Florida?"
    Probably what they always do, which in this case would be to prepare for 2016. I like Ron Paul up to a certain point but some of his followers make his cause a quasi-religion.

  • rate this

    Comment number 14.

    #2 “Nobody knows what will happen”

    This is very true. Except one thing I'm almost certain of. (Some) people here will continue to pronounce that Obama is bound to win. Or lose.

    I hope he wins. I've no idea if he will. Much is likely to depend on the economy and on the strength or weakness of his opponent.

    (If it's Mitt, he'll have ample ammo - provided by the Reps....)

  • rate this

    Comment number 13.

    A change in the reuslt of Iowa doesn't really change anything at this point. Besides, Huckabee won in Iowa 4 years ago & didn't do much else; McCain came 3rd & went on to get the nomination. The problem with Santorum is that he's really a 1 issue candidate, & that issue is gay marriage & his anti-gay stance in general. More likely to change things is Perry dropping out & endorsing Gingrich.

  • rate this

    Comment number 12.

    Perry has just quit and endorsed Gingrich.That leaves Gingrich and Santorum to split the "conservative" vote while Ron Paul remains in the race. Will that be enough by itself to threaten Romney's lead? We'll see, Perry didn't poll much to begin with.Perry's withdrawl comes as no surprise to most observers.His poor showing to date spells failure.Some expected him to wait until after South Carolina

  • rate this

    Comment number 11.

    If Obama's second term is as successful as his first he could go down as a great president.Ending wars in Iraq and Af, destroying much of al Qaeda, end the worst recession in memory he inherited without massive inflation, no attacks on the US, universal medical insurance (if it works) restoring US prestige.What he needs now is lots of jobs to put Americans back to work and earning good incomes.

  • rate this

    Comment number 10.

    I like how the original 8 vote margin was a big win for Mitt but a 32 vote win by Santorum is a tie. Who's math is this? The bigger concern is the misinformation coming from the Iowa Board of Elections.

    All the Republican candidates are a disappointment, but there is no way an ultra-conservative will be Obama, my guess is that Mitt will stay strong.

  • rate this

    Comment number 9.

    This is so dull. I think the BBC should cut its budget and ignore the elections until late summer.

    We all know it is just a show. The ruling class / Wall Street will get who they want. You haven't even mentioned Romney's millions in the Caymans!

    Remember the Obama euphoria last time, that meant nothing in the end.

    American democracy is dead and we should stop going along with the circus.

  • rate this

    Comment number 8.

    Ok Ad. For your straw poll put me down for Romney.

  • rate this

    Comment number 7.

    You don't need Perry to know money can't buy wins in US politics. Nelson Rockerfeller, one of the richest people in the world during his lifetime could not buy the one thing he wanted most, to be President of the United States. Barry Goldwater smashed whatever chance he had at a memorable convention in 1964. Goldwater later lost to Lyndon Johnson in one of the greatest landslides in US history.

  • rate this

    Comment number 6.

    I have often said that Obama's best chance for re-election is the state of his Republican opposition.
    I'm afraid that Mitt no longer looks like a winner, but who does?
    Best of the bunch: Ron Paul!

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    if anything could derail Romney's campaign, it would have to be the tax return debacle and his income in general that could lose his connection with the general public (Republican public). we'll see after Saturday's primary, though with Gingrich at 30 compared to Romney's 37, I don't know. It's a major jump for Gingrich though ( could conceivably be due to his close ties with neighboring state GA)

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.


    - apparently he is about to anounce he's leaving the race and will endorse Newt. Poor Newt.

    My next StrawPoll will appear in a few days, if anyone wants to state a GOP prefernce in the light of recent events, please do so.

    At present Ron Paul leads my poll - typical, as he is the preferred candidate of many posters / younger voters / individualists and the like.

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    Iowa is interesting, but Perry throwing in the towel and endorsing Gingrich is more important I think.

    Newt as the standard bearer for the Republicans would be a whole lot more interesting than Mittens -- and a whole lot less scary than Santorum. (Still plenty scary though. Pandering with a dash of wit.)

    And the BIG question lingers: what will the Paul people do after Florida?

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    Trying to predict what will happen in US politics is like trying to predict the weather.Hindsight is 20-20, foresight is 50-50.At this point 4 years ago the pundits and media were preparing for Hillary Clinton's coronation.Surprise, they were all dead wrong.Nobody knows what will happen. Those who say they do are either lying or they are fools. Contrary to much popular belief, money's no guarantee

  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    No, it won't make any difference for Mitt. He spun it as a big win and he will just continue down the road. No one remembers now that Bill Clinton didn't win New Hampshire the first time around. He came in second to Paul Tsongas. Who remembers Tsongas now?


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