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2012-01-19

Recount Leaves Santorum Ahead of Romney in Iowa GOP Caucus

Guests

John Nichols, Washington correspondent for The Nation magazine. He maintains the blog "The Beat" at TheNation.com. His upcoming book is called Uprising: How Wisconsin Renewed the Politics of Protest, from Madison to Wall Street.

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Rick Santorum has been declared the winner of the Iowa caucus after a recount gave him a 34-vote lead over Mitt Romney. The outcome could slow the momentum of the front-runner Romney, who is hoping to wrap up the Republican nomination with a win on Saturday in South Carolina. "It’s a big deal," says John Nichols, Washington correspondent for The Nation magazine. "[Santorum] spent a tiny amount of money per vote as compared to Romney." [includes rush transcript]

Transcript

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: John, I want to go to another point in this last question. You were in Iowa. You were in New Hampshire. The latest news coming out that probably Rick Santorum, the Pennsylvania senator, presidential candidate, won the Iowa caucus. And I want to give people another reason to tune in to Democracy Now!, because this was our romneyand">report last Tuesday, more than a week ago.

AMY GOODMAN: Not all of Romney’s rivals see his tenure at Bain as a potential liability. On Monday, former Senator Rick Santorum, the winner of last week’s Iowa caucus, refused to criticize Romney’s work at Bain.

AMY GOODMAN: More than a week ago. Talk about the significance of this, John Nichols, what has just come out this morning.

JOHN NICHOLS: Well, this is really important stuff. In a recount, it’s been confirmed that Rick Santorum won Iowa. Because we live in a political process where the headline coming off a caucus or a primary is actually more definitional than anything else, Santorum was cheated out of a headline that he deserved, better part of two weeks ago. I think it’s important to do recounts, to go in and review votes and voting practices and procedures, because we have—if we are to be a democracy, we have to make elections matter. And one of the things that has to matter is that we know precisely how elections—or in Iowa’s case, caucuses—turn out. It’s a big deal that Rick Santorum won Iowa. And the biggest deal about it is that he spent—

AMY GOODMAN: Five seconds.

JOHN NICHOLS: —a tiny amount of money per vote as compared to Mitt Romney. And so, even though I’m not a fan of Rick Santorum, I like that the guy with the less money probably won.

AMY GOODMAN: John Nichols, thanks so much for joining us, correspondent for The Nation magazine.

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