Romney Claims Iowa by 8 Votes, Indiana Could Become Battleground

By Scott Sarvay

January 4, 2012 Updated Jan 4, 2012 at 2:14 PM EDT

IOWA (Indiana's NewsCenter) - Mitt Romney has been declared the winner of the Iowa caucuses. He beat Rick Santorum by 8 votes following an extraordinarily close election.

Rick Santorum’s 2nd Place victory is a big win for him getting 25% of the vote after polling in single digits just a few weeks ago.

(R) Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum says, “We'll be in New Hampshire, we'll leave tomorrow, we'll spend time there and with your help and God's grace, we'll have another fun night there a week from now.”

Senator John McCain is expected to endorse Romney in New Hampshire on Wednesday.

McCain’s endorsement may be just what Romney needs from his biggest challenger, Newt Gingrich, who vowed to fight negative ads by attacking Romney's record.

(R) Presidential Candidate Newt Gingrich says, “And if the truth SEEMS negative, that may be more of a comment on his record than politics.”

The close election in Iowa could mean Indiana could play a key role in nominating one of the Republican candidates for president this year.

A political analyst says watch for our state to become a battle-ground if a clear front-runner does not emerge by the time our primary is held in May.

New changes in how many delegates each GOP candidate wins in the primaries could also influence Indiana’s importance this year.

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