It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:
And I'm Linda Wertheimer.
Throughout this morning, we're tracking the results of Iowa's Republican presidential caucuses, where Mitt Romney edged Rick Santorum by just eight votes. We're also following other news, including developments from a country that changed its leader with no election at all.
The Iowa caucuses — the first contest of the 2012 presidential nominating season — were held Tuesday night. President Obama was unopposed, but Democrats met in caucuses across the state for what was essentially a pep rally.
Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul were the big winners Tuesday night in the Iowa caucuses. They finished first, second and third respectively. Romney won by the narrowest of margins — eight votes.
About 200 miles from Des Moines, the Republican chair of Clinton County was fast asleep as state officials waited for the final votes in the caucuses. As it turns out, the final votes were needed from the second ward, second precinct, the 2-2 in Clinton County.
Our last word in business today is yogurt. Actually, yogurt and beer. Maybe not a combination you want to consider first thing in the morning - or maybe ever - but those two products will be together in this year's Super Bowl.
In recent weeks a lot of polls and pundits said the Iowa caucuses might be too close to call. But nobody imagined just how close things would turn out Tuesday night in the first voting of the 2012 presidential nominating season. Mitt Romney was declared the winner by just eight votes. Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum came in second.
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has been considered a front-runner in this race since before the campaign began. Yet, at the end of voting yesterday, he did no better than he had four years earlier.
NPR's Ari Shapiro was at Romney campaign headquarters in Des Moines, and walks us through that tense and dramatic evening.
We've all been there. Trapped in line at the DMV. Or stuck on hold while trying to call a city agency. It's easy to complain about government bureaucracy. But it's the rare person who sees such inefficiency as a business opportunity.
Meet Adam Humphreys. He lives in New York City, and he wanted to travel to China for a vacation. His bureaucratic hassles with the Chinese consulate launched a whole new business.
At Ron Paul's caucus night event in Ankeny, Iowa, most of his supporters were celebrating. Paul finished a strong third in Tuesday night's caucuses.
But one man in the crowd — famed Republican strategist Frank Luntz — was much more concerned with what happens next.
"I think over the next 24 to 48 hours the campaign's gonna get a little bit meaner, a little darker, and a little bit more personal, as the candidates now fight for their life," said Luntz, who spoke with NPR in between television appearances Tuesday night.