I will post the results and add some commentary - over at Drudge - Ron Paul won the unscientific internet poll, but that is old hat and fully expected given the Paulbots spamming any and all internet polls...
Updated - 10:14pm Pacific -
Results with 99% of the Caucus's reporting:
Rick Santorum 29,944 votes 25%
Mitt Romney 29,926 votes 25%
Ron Paul 26,182 votes 22%
Newt Gingrich 16,210 votes 14%
Rick Perry 12,574 votes 11%
Michelle Bachmann 6,064 votes 6%
Jon Huntsman 744 votes <1%
Herman Cain 58 votes <1%
Rick Santorum's lead is down to 18 votes....out of around 121,702 votes cast in the Iowa caucus.
Michelle Bachmann, who won the Ames straw poll in August of last year, is the big loser in Iowa. Her campaign team imploded down the home stretch with her state chair departing and endorsing Ron Paul. She may say she is in it for South Carolina in 2 weeks, but her campaign is done. Time for her to endorse someone and concentrate on winning re-election for her House seat.
Rick Perry, is another huge loser in Iowa. He spent millions on his campaign here and got only 11% of the caucus vote. He has no real momentum to ride going into South Carolina. I will be surprised if Perry is in the race come Februrary. UDPATE - Rick Perry announced that rather than going to South Carolina tomorrow, he will return to Texas to reassess the status of his campaign. The expectation is that he will withdraw from the race now as opposed to after South Carolina / Florida.
Newt Gingrich, gave a good concession speech - but while he complains about being 'Romney-boated' - it's his own background and history that provides the materials, and the materials, and the materials for those adverts against he. While he will stay in through SC and Florida, he sounded as if he would endorse Santorum.
Ron Paul, who isn't a real Republican (see Powerline's blog), had a strong organization and base in Iowa, but was unable to defeat either Romney or Santorum despite the cross-over vote and his organization. His speech acknowledging 3rd place did little but continue to convince Republicans that he represents the Dennis Kucinich foreign policy approach.
Those who stand against Mitt Romney will focus on the 25% or so of the vote he is getting and that he's not doing too much better than in 2008. However, this is a decent finish and good lead in to the NH race next week. Between these 2, we can hope that Romney will get a little bump in SC and Florida.
The winner of the latest 'Not Romney' title is Rick Santorum. A lot of the late breaking caucus voters went towards Santorum - as the battle still remains the 'Not Romney' candidate versus Romney. Santorum has some real challenges for the rest of the month - and we need to see if he can have the momentum needed to win big particularly in SC and Florida. He will get a boost if both Bachmann and Perry drop out of the race...but he will have to demonstrate that he is electable in a general election against Obama.
At least we can be certain that all of these candidates, with the exception of Ron Paul, will unite to support the Republican nominee in the race against President Barack Obama.
Update - Baseball Crank has some interesting numbers to factor into the consideration around the GOP Primary race: There are a total of 2,286 delegates for the Republican National Convention. This means that 1,143 delegates are needed to win the Republican nomination. Because of the movement of primaries - Iowa will award 28 delegates, and New Hampshire will award 12 delegates. South Carolina and Florida will award 75 delegates. These delegates are a fraction of what is needed to win the nomination.
Super Tuesday, March 6, will see 10 states holding their primaries / caucus's - and award 438 delegates. On April 3, Texas (along with Maryland, Washington DC, and Wisconsin) will hold it's primary - awarding 155 delegates. The other states add 98 delegates. April 24th will see New York (95), Pennsylvania (72), Connecticut (28), Delaware (17), and Rhode Island (19) - which will award 231 delegates. Wrapping up the major primaries on June 5th are California (172), Montana (26), New Jersey (50), New Mexico (23), and South Dakota (28) - awarding 299 delegates.
This race may not be decided until after the California primary - or we get to the convention - even if it consolidates.