Mitt Romney Edges Out Rick Santorum in Iowa

Eight votes separated top two vote-getters in historic finish at Iowa caucuses.
3:51 | 01/04/12

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Transcript for Mitt Romney Edges Out Rick Santorum in Iowa
Way to pick Detroit twelve election in a high near the first contest to that be disclosed any tighter more surprising the cover of -- the Moines register said that all. Those eight votes. -- all that separated at Romney. And Rick Santorum after final tally that what was -- to fourteen minority -- -- in the closest race ever in Iowa also the largest turnout. You know history they -- the final numbers right there are only eight votes separate them and this was a scramble Robinette to actually to wake up one county chairman. In the middle of the night to get the final -- seemingly had a we have gone home and -- -- -- -- -- gone home then again they did well. Romney and Santorum up at the top followed by Ron Paul Newt Gingrich Rick Perry and Michelle Bachmann of course the next big contest. Next the debate Saturday night in New Hampshire. Newt Gingrich is already there Romney in some form -- -- later today as for Rick Perry he is packing his bags going home to Texas for now hasn't made a full commitment -- he's -- think things over. Our entire ABC news political team has been up all night tracking the results and what they mean for the presidential race so let's get right to senior White House correspondent. Jake Tapper. -- that Red Bull he's been up all night -- and island good morning -- Good morning Robin an unbelievably exciting photo finish the editors of the de Moines register. Originally planned on this front page it's a split decision and they yelled stopping the presses and actually changed it to the Paper you showed later saying Romany. By eight. Votes of course the split decision is really the message and that causes some real questions for Romney and whether he has a ceiling and as a weak front runner and a provides a huge boost for a previously unknown candidate. Rick Santorum. Rick Santorum had two words last night game on. Santorum ultimately did not win but his near upset almost victory. Shocked the political world and made in the latest conservative alternative to Mitt Romney. Thank you so much -- you have taken the first step of taking back this country. The two term Pennsylvania senator came so close with hard work visiting each of Iowa's 99 counties. Our -- Romney won but the fact that this was such a struggle even with his advantage -- with money and infrastructure endorsements. Raise questions about a major enthusiasm gap. Last -- Romney delivered a fairly standard stump speech this election is bigger. Even then jobs. And a strong economy -- it's really an election about the soul of America. In third place buoyed by a surge of independent voters Ron -- This go back to this real old fashioned idea is vary dangers idea that's okay that constant show. It was a night that had a bitter taste for some once the front runner here Newt Gingrich finished fourth. Angry about millions of dollars in negative ads against him from Romney and Romney supporters. We are not gonna -- out and run nasty edge we're not to -- run thirty seconds -- What. I do reserve the right to tell the truth Gingrich's first -- comes in the form of this newspaper ad in New Hampshire's union leader. Calling Romney a timid Massachusetts moderate. It. And Romney has a huge perhaps insurmountable. Lead in New Hampshire latest polling show. Shows he has 47. Per cent of the vote the next closest is Ron Paul with 17%. Thirty points back. -- run he's gonna have a big endorsement today. John McCain the man who beat him in the New Hampshire primary four years ago and also won the New Hampshire primary. In 2000 a big New Hampshire endorsement George.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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