Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney pretty much leaves Iowa the same way he arrived: at 25 percent. That's just about how much of the vote he received four years ago in the Iowa GOP caucus. Though Romney squeaked by ex-Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum with a win in Iowa Tuesday night, he overwhelmingly outspent his opponents, using a fair amount of money that he has collected from Idaho campaign contributors. At the end of the third quarter, the Federal Election commission reported that Romney had collected more in Idaho than 30 other states, including Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, the sites of the first caucuses and primaries.
The other headlines from Tuesday night: Third-place finisher Congressman Ron Paul is still energized, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and Gov. Rick Perry are probably out, Newt Gingrich is pissed, and Jon Huntsman spent the evening on the sidelines, awaiting his opponents' arrival in New Hampshire, which will hold the nation's first primary next Tuesday.
This Friday, Jan. 6, Idaho Republicans will be holding an informal straw poll of the presidential candidates, all the while filling the campaign coffers. The combination fundraiserstraw poll is slated for Boise's Riverside Hotel beginning at 7 p.m. Republican Party organizers promise an evening of music, speeches and awards.