With the limited exception of Ron Paul's college kids getting out turnouted by Rick Santorum's Chukleberry Hounds...our call of the race was clearly hot on the heels of perfection. Kudos to Tricky Ricky.on his performance. Being a strong Christian in my own right, I can confirm that my Christian Brothers are far more reliable than the Iowa State Pep Squad.
So...what does it all mean?
Did I suggest that Mitt would not reach 25%? I think I did. And, while most of the major commentators are still suggesting that Romney somehow "wins" anything by spending $10th Million to finish 8 votes ahead of Rick Santorum...when you look at the results from the standpoint that just over THREE QUARTERS of his own party think Mitt is "too liberal"...and that's BEFORE HE GETS BELOW The Mason-Psycho Line...well...I think Romney is in a little more trouble than he (or they) think.
Fact: Santorum vs Obama is almost as attractive to the White House, as Obama vs Bachmann.
Fact: The soon to be departed Rick Perry...could, if we are lucky, end up as a strategic geographic VP candidate. I mean...the Biden-Perry debate would be PRICELESS! But...he says as the reality drugs kick in...Perry's exit at this point favors Michele Bachmann more than Mitt Romney...and both Gingrich and Santorum in advance of South Carolina.
Fact: The last time Mitt ran neck and neck with the evangelical choice in an Iowa caucus...and was pre-awarded a victory in his neighboring state of New Hampshire...he got his HAT handed to him by Insane McCain.
Fact: After Mitt lost New Hampshire in 2008...he was toast.
So...where does all of this leave the republicans?
Ron Paul IS A FACTOR. Newt Gingrich will be quite content to blow up Mitt Romney AND the republican party...if he can't be the nominee himself. Rick Santorum couldn't beat Kim Kardashian in a race for...anything. Perry is out...Bachmann is crazier than my wacky Uncle Freddie. John Huntsman will take even more votes from Romney in New Hampshire...and, a viable 3rd party candidacy is now a virtual certainty.
The republican party doesn't know how to act. The media doesn't know how to respond. Sarah Palin is already making noises that might not originate in a gas bubble...and have we already forgotten Trump's change of party, Gary Johnson's open courting of Libertarians...and, Ron Paul's refusal to definitively rule out a 3rd party effort?
The only people jumping for joy this morning, are the Obama kids. At least now they can be assured of finishing high school without having to make a new set of friends.
And...as we did before, I won't wait til Monday to first assess New Hampshire, it make the call. The first call on New Hampshitre comes today...by 3 PM.