In the first Republican contest of the season, the two candidates were separated by a sliver of votes, with Mr. Romney declared the winner by eight ballots early Wednesday morning. Mr. Santorum and Mr. Romney, whose views represent the polar sides of the party, each had 24.6%.
Representative Ron Paul of Texas was a close third on Tuesday with 21% of the caucus votes. Mr. Paul outpaced his rivals among caucusgoers under forty but dropped behind Mr. Romney and Mr. Santorum among older voters.
Mr. Gingrich was in fourth place with 13% of the votes, followed by Mr. Perry with 10%, and Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota with 5%. More than 120,000 Republicans took part in the caucus, a turnout that was higher than four years ago.
With Mr. Perry heading back to Texas, Mr. Gingrich pledged to press forward and be on the stage at the next debate on Saturday in New Hampshire.
Mr. Romney won the most support among those who said defeating President Obama was the most important quality in a candidate.
Via The New York Times.