Tuesday 6 December 2016

Alex Spillius: Republicans have long way to go before they can focus on Obama

Alex Spillius in Des Moines

Published 05/01/2012 | 05:00

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is joined by U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) (R) at a campaign stop in Manchester, New Hampshire January 4, 2012, one day after Romney won the Iowa caucus. REUTERS/Brian Snyder (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS)
Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is joined by U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) (R) at a campaign stop in Manchester, New Hampshire January 4, 2012, one day after Romney won the Iowa caucus. REUTERS/Brian Snyder (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS)

ON January 3, 2008, at the start of the Democratic Party contest to choose a candidate for the 2008 presidential election, Barack Obama won a clear victory in the Iowa caucuses that propelled him towards the White House.

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Four years on from that historic result and it appeared yesterday that the president had triumphed once more from a vote in the Midwestern state -- this time without even having to enter the contest.

For while Mitt Romney was undoubtedly relieved at his narrow victory and Rick Santorum celebrated a remarkable turnaround that almost saw him come from nowhere to win, it was Mr Obama who appeared to have gained the most from a night when Republican voters failed to settle on a clear front-runner to challenge him for the presidency.

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