Voting in Iowa to choose a Republican presidential candidate turned into a two horse race with the biggest surprise of the evening being the performance of newcomer, social conservative Rick Santorum.
Running neck and neck throughout the night with Mitt Romney, he finished just eight votes behind the favourite. Both polled over 30,000 votes.
The result however shows the Republican party is obviously split although Romney may have the wider appeal in other primaries.
Their rival Ron Paul a small government anti-war Texas congressman who has cultivated a grass roots support network came in third. Although he kept close to the leaders he later dropped back However he has already said he’s ready to move on to New Hampshire.
Tea Party member Michele Bachmann whose popularity had already faded before the vote came last but one. Her future now hangs in the balance as to whether she will have the funds to continue.
Newt Gingrich saw a revival in his popularity. Although way behind the leaders he has vowed his bid for the nomination does not end here.
Rick Perry whose campaign had been damaged by a series of gaffes has said he will return to Texas to reassess his presidential bid.