Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney squeaked out a victory in Iowa's first-in-the-nation nominating contest on Tuesday as little-known rival Rick Santorum rode lingering conservative unease to a surprise second-place finish.
Romney edged out Santorum by only eight votes, winning by 30,015 to 30,007, the state Republican Party announced.
As the Republicans headed for their next contest in Romney stronghold New Hampshire, the result solidified his frontrunner status in the battle to pick a challenger to President Barack Obama in November's election.
At the same time, it underscored Romney's inability so far to secure the trust of his party's conservative wing and consolidate support ahead of what is likely to be the most expensive presidential election campaign in history.
City A.M. Reporter