Rick Perry Drops Out Of Race As Rick Santorum Leads By Double Digit Votes

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While Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum count the last few votes in Iowa with Sanorum leading by 34 votes, Texas Governor Rick Perry has suspended his campaign with his 5th place finish in the Iowa Caucus. Perry announced in his concession speech that he will not go forward to New Hampshire next week and instead will fly back to Texas to assess his campaign’s future.

Michele Bachmann could be the next to drop out after a 6th place finish and with only a little more than 5,000 votes. Bachmann did not make reference to dropping out in her concession speech but her campaign managers have stated that she is likely to call it quits. Bachmann won the Iowa Straw Poll last summer, so the 6th place finish is extremely disappointing.

Ron Paul finished third after leading in some polls as late as this morning, but it was Santorum that has had all the momentum leading into today. The Romney campaign, although disappointed by not winning big in Iowa, goes to New Hampshire with a big lead in the polls. Romney is in for the long haul in this primary season. He has the war chest and the infrastructure to battle well into June if he has to.

But now Romney will have to deal with a very angry Newt Gingrich, who finished 4th and blames his poor showing on the relentless attack ads that Romney recently leveled at him. Even if Gingrich is a non factor in the next round of primaries, most think that he will be a thorn in Romney’s side.

For more on the story, check out [WashPost]

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