Now that the opening salvo in the Republican primary race has been fired in Iowa, the only thing that is for sure is that nothing is for sure. Mitt Romney has won the Iowa caucus by only 8 votes over Rick Santorum. It was only a few short months ago that some political pundits such as radio talk show host Michael Medved, were saying all other candidates should drop out of the race because Mitt Romney was going to be the candidate and we may as well just accept it.
The Iowa caucus results are a big win for Rick Santorum, who many consider to be a solid conservative who has no problem articulating conservative principals. A few months ago Senator Santorum was hardly registering in the polls and no one gave him a chance. Even though most conservatives preferred him over many of the other candidates. Now that he has gained momentum going into the Iowa caucus and has virtually won, many may give him a second look as the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney.
Rick Santorum has been a principled conservative his entire career and has not flipped on any issue. He is a tireless advocate for the sanctity of life, a believer in a strong U.S. military with foreign policy experience and a supporter of limited government and free market principals. He is passionate about his beliefs which will serve him well in debates against President Obama. He is a true believer in the U.S. Constitution and will appoint judges who will uphold it in their decisions and not legislate from the bench.
As much as the Iowa caucus has been a win for Rick Santorum, it has been a loss for Mitt Romney, even though he won by 8 votes. His narrow victory takes some of the wind out of his sails and shows conservatives that they dont' have to settle for a moderate candidate, again. Many of the pundits expected Mitt Romney to walk away with a decisive Iowa win, and the closeness of the results shows his vulnerability and I think his candidacy has been weakened.
Nobody knows what the ultimate outcome will be, it will play out in the New Hampshire primary next week and in South Carolina after that. One thing is for certain, there are many more surprises to come. One of those surprises might be that Rick Santorum may provide Republicans with the most solid conservative candidate since Ronald Reagan.