Mitt Romney Wins Iowa Caucuses

After months of campaigning Mitt Romney wins a razor thin decision in Iowa.
3:00 | 01/03/12

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Transcript for Mitt Romney Wins Iowa Caucuses
Had an extraordinary. Night here in -- -- welcome to. ABC news -- special coverage of the Iowa Caucuses. Which basically ended in a dead heat -- flat dead heat it's the closest race in Iowa caucus history can't imagine anything closer let's go right. To the results -- Mitt Romney has just been declared by the Republican Party here the winner 30015. Votes. Rick Santorum second place 30007. Eight. Votes separating just. And amazingly close race and then the rest of the field here Ron Paul a strong third place showing here. Which is very passionate following Newt Gingrich once flying high hammered by an avalanche of negative ads down -- 13%. Rick Perry the governor of Texas says he will go home to think about things after coming. Within just 10% and Michelle Bachmann. Bringing up the rear here. Let's take a look at what happened demographically. You can see the fracture in the Republican Party by taking a look. At those voters who identified themselves as very conservative. The base of the Republican Party Rick Santorum winning them whopping -- there. But for those voters who said the most important thing was to defeat Barack Obama. The exact opposite story. Mitt Romney clobbering Santorum he is seen as the electable one because there's no question that. Big part of the Republican Party wants to defeat Barack Obama. ABC news's Jake Tapper is with us right now our senior White House correspondent also with Santorum. To happen tonight for Santorum. What is -- government run. It says that he has a ceiling we've known this for a long time according to polls now we haven't according to votes he has -- -- 25%. Of the Republican Party. Is sold on his message is this man strong conservative. Able to beat Barack Obama. 75% of the Republican Party says. I don't know I'm not so sure they've been shopping around for a long time. You've seen a lot of front runners come and go Herman Cain you might remember him Michelle Bachman -- -- And now we have Rick Santorum who peaked at exactly the right yeah politics like life it's. Timing so. He -- the right time he is now the darling of Christian conservatives can't he take that. Further with so little money so little infrastructure big question. And and yet he had a chance to introduce himself to the country tonight making that speech late because the results were so close. But it was his theme mathematics teacher who is Rick Santorum what he said. What was interesting about him is he sells himself as a blue collar Republican who is even though he is very very conservative. On a lot of social issues. Able to win over Reagan Democrats he says that's how -- want his house races in Western Pennsylvania is how we want. Two statewide elections in Pennsylvania. He talks a lot about his grandfather the coal miner who worked in the coal -- he's drawing -- very stark contrast. With Mitt Romney who of course comes from a background of wealth and he's also making at an electability. Appeal because that's the big question about Rick Santorum OK Christian conservatives like him. Does anyone else can -- appeal beyond that base he says yes he did in Pennsylvania. Woolsey and let's just take a brief look at some of what Rick Santorum had to say. Introducing himself presented to the national -- You. You by standing up. And not compromise. By standing up. And being bold. And Levy. Leading with that. Burden and responsibility you have to be first. You have taken the first step of taking back this country. -- -- -- -- And that you write in what he's saying here you -- you did not compromise. That's that's a shot at Mitt Romney Romney is compromise Rick Santorum is not compromise he is what you believe him and that's going to be his message going -- And that's the battle going forward Jake Tapper thanks very much for being here in the middle of -- nine -- how to find good to be here in eastern. And for the other candidates of course that this is a very big night as well as Jake was pointing out that -- lot of questions are random but at the end of the day. A win is a win and David Muir has been covering his campaign. Terry good evening just a short time ago governor Mitt Romney -- -- onto the stage with his wife and four of his sons he thanked his supporters -- this -- Clearly they would have liked to have had a decisive victory here and -- -- this time around but they consider this a victory nonetheless here's what he said about Rick Santorum. And about the numbers tonight just a short time ago. Congratulations -- Rick Santorum this have been a great victory for him for his effort -- -- -- very hard and Iowa we have we also feel it's been a great victory for us here. It. I think it's great that here in the heartland of America that -- A campaign begins all three of us be campaigning very hard to make sure that we restore the heart and soul of the entire nation. And and thank you Iowa for the great -- you're giving to us and -- the others of this campaign look this is -- this is campaign night where America wins we're gonna change the White House to get America back on track. Romney making it very clear he's looking forward now moving on to New Hampshire next his own backyard obviously former governor of Massachusetts he's -- Summer home in New Hampshire. There are going to be questions tomorrow though about Mitt Romney getting the -- that he didn't -- an -- not all that different. From what you saw here four years ago as far as the electricity was able to capture here. And after all this talk of the majority Republicans polled saying he's the most electable. He'll be asked why not able to close the deal more significant way here in Iowa -- -- And what to do now but -- surging Rick Santorum. But this campaign tells us they are very happy days. Said they feel great about these numbers and they move forward. Tonight even beyond New Hampshire they've already bought their first TV ad in Florida -- they are looking ahead Terry. It's -- machine there's no question about it David but it is a machine. That we can tell -- earned six votes less Romney got six votes less than he did. In Iowa in 2008. Four Ron Paul he's had a surge is sort of steady surge -- this is a big night for him and Jon Karl. Is with the Paul campaign John. -- -- Ron Paul his campaign here they were looking for a victory in Iowa -- they'll definitely take what they got. A third place finish and he's wrong for third place finish. As he told his supporters short while ago there are three tickets -- -- Iowa he's certainly got one of those. He's also got a campaign and is prepared to go nationally he's still got a lot of money. And boy does -- -- the supporters of Ron Paul brigades. As -- needed to stage a little while ago he spoke to them and talked about them as the one thing that he has no other candidate in this race. There's nobody else that have people like you working hard and another. Okay. As Ron Paul brigades are here to shake up the Republican Party in the big secret he had here was bringing in. Independent voters. Into the Iowa Caucuses he won those independents overwhelmingly. Many of them probably never having voted for a Republican before and let me tell you Terry. When Paul. Continues on he is going to continue to try to shake up the party. And I predict to you that he'll take this all the way to the convention when he as many delegates as -- man and trying to be of real have a real impact. When the Republicans finally get to formally crowning their nominee. In Tampa this summer.

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

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