Romney & Allies Spend $4.3 Million, Lose Votes

Yesterday, Mitt Romney eked out a win in the Iowa caucuses, pulling eight votes ahead of Rick Santorum in the wee hours of the morning. (Public Service Announcement: Eight votes! This is why you VOTE, folks). In a way, it was a coup for Romney: Iowa is a notoriously conservative and evangelical state, and until recently, he didn’t expect to have a chance.

The problem is that it shouldn’t really count as a victory, because three times as many Iowa Republicans voted against Romney than for him. I’ll say that again: Romney, the supposed frontrunner — the man who’s supposed to take down President Obama — had three times as many Republicans vote against him than for him. The race was really a three-way tie: Romney took 24.6 percent, Santorum 24.5 percent, and Ron Paul 21.4 percent. Romney actually did worse this caucus than last time: In 2008, he pulled 30,021 votes in Iowa; In 2012, he only earned 30,015. That’s 6 less votes than last time. Seriously, how many Romney voters in Iowa died?

And just maintaining the majority of his 2008 results was a costly endeavor. The Romney campaign spent $1.5 million in Iowa, while a Super PAC run by his old aides spent another $2.8 million. That’s right: the pro-Romney team spent $4.3 million and lost voters.

Granted: Rick Santorum won’t be president. The man has signed off on states banning birth control, after all. He was just the last Republican to get the anti-Romney surge, and timed it perfectly. Ron Paul won’t be president, either, though he might cause trouble if he decides to launch a third-party bid. But Romney should start getting worried: In a year when the GOP was supposed to be ascendant, he’s clearly struggling to make Republicans like him.