Well, here’s what happened:
Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are essentially tied at 25% of the vote. When I checked at midnight, 98% of the precincts had reported and Romney was in the lead by 41 votes. After the final tally, Romney ended up winning by only eight votes. Ron Paul is a close third with 21.4% of the votes. What I find interesting about this are the results of a CBS News entrance poll.
“…Romney’s voters are looking for someone who can beat President Obama, while Santorum’s voters are looking for a true conservative. Paul’s voters are male, younger, and many are first-time caucus goers.”
Newt Gingrich finished with just over 13%, Rick Perry had just over 10% and Michelle Bachmann was right at 5%.
The Iowa caucus is so well publicized because it is the first public casting of ballots in the presidential race. Technically, it is not terribly important. In the simplest of terms, it is like a formal statewide poll. However, as BaseballChica03 explains, this is a big deal because we like to support people who we think will win, so the Iowa caucus is generally a good indicator of who will be running for president.
If you are interested in a more thorough explanation of what a caucus is, and how they work, the Huffington Post does a much better job of explaining it than I ever could.