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Photos from the Iowa caucuses: Winners & losers

Politics ·

1 Republican presidential candidate, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn, waves from her bus following a campaign stop at Valley High School, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012, in West Des Moines, Iowa. 
2 Michele Bachmann told a small group of supporters Tuesday night that she is staying in the presidential race as the only true conservative who can defeat the sitting president, despite a bleak showing in the Iowa caucuses. The Minnesota congresswoman was running in last place among six candidates as returns came in from the nation's first Republican presidential nominating contest. But she told an anemic crowd of just a few dozen supporters, "I believe that I am that true conservative who can and who will defeat Barack Obama in 2012." Pictured, Bachmann looks on during a "Rock the Caucus" event at Valley High School on January 3, 2012 in West Des Moines, Iowa. Bachmann finished with only 5 percent of caucus support on Tuesday night. 
3 Rick Santorum waged a seesaw with Mitt Romney late Tuesday night, a dramatic opening round for the campaign to pick a challenger to President Barack Obama. Returns from 98 percent of the state's precincts showed Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator, and Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts, in a near dead heat. "Game on," Santorum said, jaw clenched, in a late-night appearance before supporters in the Iowa capital city. Pictured, Santorum speaks to the media at a campaign stop at Valley High School, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012, in West Des Moines, Iowa. 
4 Republican presidential candidate, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas ran closely behind leaders Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney through the early part of the evening. Paul is seen more as a libertarian crusader than a potential president. He recently said he doesn't envision himself as president. Pictured, Paul speaks during a campaign stop at Valley High School, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012, in West Des Moines, Iowa. 
5 Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, speaks as his wife Ann Romney and their sons (L-R) Josh, Matt, Craig and Tagg look on at the Hotel Fort Des Moines on the night of the Iowa Caucuses January 3, 2012 in Des Moines, Iowa. Romney beat a surging former Sen. Rick Santorum by only eight votes. 
6 Newt Gingrich blasted Mitt Romney as someone who can't bring enough change to Washington while vowing to continue his presidential campaign after a fourth place finish in the Iowa caucuses. Gingrich called Romney a "Massachusetts moderate who, in fact, is pretty good at managing the decay." He said the former governor has "given no evidence in his years in Massachusetts of any ability to change the culture or change the political structure." Gingrich's speech Tuesday night signaled that he would continue to take the fight to Romney, whom he has criticized for running a negative campaign. Gingrich also said he does not foresee the GOP race ending anytime soon. Pictured, Gingrich, campaigns at Elly's Coffee Tea and Coffee House in Muscatine, Iowa, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012. 
7 Rick Perry says he's reassessing his White House bid. The Texas governor says he's returning to Texas to determine whether there is a path forward for his Republican presidential. Perry was dealt a disappointing finish behind several other Republican hopefuls. Earlier in the day, Perry had encouraged supporters to keep the faith as his advisers looked ahead to South Carolina as the first real test of his presidential campaign. Pictured, Perry prepares for an interview during a caucus night watch party Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012, in West Des Moines, Iowa.