The Daily Digest (Tight Iowa finish, Bachmann stays in race, Vikings owner talks stadium)

Mitt Romney won the Iowa caucuses by eight votes. Former PA Sen. Rick Santorum came in second. Ron Paul finished third. GOP Rep. Michele Bachman finished dead last among the candidates actively campaigning in the state.

The New York Times says the results showcase the divisions within the GOP.

The exit polls say Romney won over voters who were most concerned about defeating President Obama.

John McCain will endorse Mitt Romney in New Hampshire today.

Romney is also buying air time in South Carolina.

A reality check may be coming for Santorum.

Ron Paul said there’s “nothing to be ashamed of” about finishing third.

Newt Gingrich is prepared to attack Romney in New Hamsphire calling him a “Massachusetts moderate managing decay.”

Rick Perry is headed back to Texas to reassess his campaign (which pretty much means he’s done Update: Perry is staying in the race).

Michele Bachmann didn’t drop out.

Sarah Palin suggests Bachmann should call it quits.

The New York Times has a great graphic on how the candidates travel.

Under the Dome

GOP Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem appointed Julianne Ortman as his Deputy Majority Leader and Bill Ingebrigtsen as an Assistant Majority Leader.

GOP leaders in the Senate met privately today with Gov. Dayton.

Senate Republicans are also looking for a replacement for Michael Brodkorb.

MPR takes a look at GOP Rep. King Banaian’s dilemma on the Vikings stadium: The Economics professor in him doubts the stadium. The politician says wait and see.

Vikings Stadium

Vikings owner Zygi Wilf says he’s confident a stadium deal will be in the works shortly.

Wilf also met privately with GOP Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem.


GOP Rep. John Kline had a perfect voting record last year.

Middle East

The Taliban opened an office outside of Afghanistan – signaling a willingness to start a dialogue with the U.S. for the first time.

  • Whoa … did I miss something, but I see Bachmann Momentum … Potential-Commander-in-Chief Bachmann tallied 6,073 votes … let’s remember that at the Iowa Straw Poll she got only 4,823 … the vector is in the right direction …. NO … now the reports are that there is a press conference scheduled for this morning in Des Moines implying that she might stop campaigning … Oh, No …. not another defeated Minnesotan on the road to the White House

    Okay, being serious now

    Is it safe to say that the big loser was Tim Pawlenty who quit too early … is there any reason not to think with the debate performance of Rick Perry, the “Herman Cain Affair” and the Romney attacks on Gingrich, that Pawlenty would have been the acceptable alternative to Romney

    Secondly, considering that the MN-GOP does not appear to have a “name” candidate for US Senate and the focus that Michele Bachmann has taken on national issues, will they “draft” her to compete against Senator Klobuchar ? Considering that “coattails” can be a problem, having an unknown competing for the US Senate could affect MN Legislature contests if Obama/Klobuchar/Ellison/McCollum/Walz bring out independent voters to lean DFL. (Note: Peterson was purposely left off the list as the currently constructed Seventh District leans GOP.)

  • Ralph Crammedin

    @mncentral, I’m utterly amazed that the Pawlenty “quit too soon” meme is still alive. No. Pawlenty was not the “acceptable alternative” to Romney. The red meat righties hate Pawlenty for the same reason they hate Romney. To them he’s a poseur.

    Pawlenty wouldn’t have taken votes from Romney, because Romney votes were for the candidate most likely to win the general election. Neither would Pawlenty have taken votes from Paul, Santorum, Perry or Bachmann. Their voters are true believers, most of whom have nothing but disdain for Pawlenty.

    That leaves only Newt Gingrisch vulnerable to Pawlenty erosion. But Newt finished a distant 4th, so how many votes could Pawlenty have scored? Please, give the Pawlenty nonsense a rest. The guy’s a loser, and he did a fine job of losing on his own terms. Losing is the one thing Tim Pawlenty does well.

  • Minnesota Central

    Hi Ralph,

    Thanks for reading my comment and offering your assessment.

    On this we will have to disagree. IMO, Pawlenty lost because of Money … money that he saw would go to Perry and because he saw the Iowa Faithful going to Bachmann …. there is no way that anyone saw Santorum as viable back during the straw poll … heck, until the Faithful’s Family Leader begrudgingly gave his blessing to Santorum, he was destined for the lower tier.

    IMO, caucus-goers had a choice — vote for Romney, Paul or someone else as a “Send-a-message-we-don’t-want-Romney” … Pawlenty was saying all the Right things … For example, attacking judges that he would have seemed more viable than Santorum … if Pawlenty was still in the race, Florida would have been a whole lot more interesting. As it stands now, Romney’s got the money to outlast everybody.

    BTW … considering that this is a caucus and not actual delegates, although Romney may have won by 8 votes in total, who got more supporters going onto the district conventions … I will bet that Santorum actually won.

    Mac Hall