But our sense is Iowa caucus goers were less concerned with ideology than they were results in November. Ahead of Tuesday's caucuses, one Iowa voter told Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberley A. Strassel that she had been leaning toward former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, but, “In the end, I'm looking for someone who can beat Obama.”
That someone is Mitt Romney, who wisely has spent the bulk of his time focusing on President Barack Obama's performance while others have taken their cracks at trying to unseat Romney as front-runner. Herman Cain came and went. Michele Bachmann bowed out Wednesday after finishing last in Iowa's six-person field. Rick Perry's fifth-place finish continued his downward trajectory. Gingrich's waning appeal was reflected in his fourth-place finish in Iowa, below even the unelectable Ron Paul.
We suspect Santorum is the latest “non-Romney” and will fade before long. When that happens, his supporters — and those of the would-be nominees who are on their way out — need to rally behind Romney because what's most important is winning the White House in November. The sooner the GOP has its nominee, the sooner it can focus the money, time and energy on that ultimate goal.
Regardless of the margin, Romney's showing in Iowa provides a nice boost for the front-runner. On to New Hampshire!