Today’s Headlines – January 4, 2012

Good morning! It’s freezing cold in our nation’s capitol, here are some headlines to warm yourself by:

Politico: Iowa Caucus Results: Mitt Romney Edges Rick Santorum In Iowa
Mitt Romney edged Rick Santorum by a mere eight votes in Tuesday’s Iowa caucuses — a margin that amounted to a tie in the crucial opening act of the 2012 presidential race and propelled the newly reshaped contest to New Hampshire and beyond. After a three-way dead heat for much of the night, Romney and Santorum moved slightly ahead of Texas Rep. Ron Paul, who finished in third place (Nichols, 1/3).

The Wall Street Journal: Romney Ekes Past Santorum To Win Iowa
Mitt Romney pulled out a razor-thin victory by just eight votes in the Iowa caucuses, edging out Rick Santorum and opening the Republican primary season with a dose of momentum going into a New Hampshire primary he is heavily favored to win. … The returns illustrate divisions in the Republican Party among three factions: social conservatives backing Mr. Santorum; a more centrist group backing Mr. Romney; and an unusual coalition of young people, antiwar advocates and limited-government advocates backing Mr. Paul, a libertarian icon (King and O’Connor, 1/4).

For more headlines …

Politico: Iowa Caucus: Rivals Seek To Rally Right Against Mitt Romney
Mitt Romney won the Iowa caucuses Tuesday night over runner-up Rick Santorum by a margin so small he could count it on his fingers, the culmination of a months-long heartland slog in which he was never subject to a sustained assault by his more conservative rivals (Martin and Harris, 1/4).

The New York Times: News Analysis: First Vote Reinforces GOP’s Ideological Divide
Mr. Romney is seeking to take control of a party still in search of a post-Bush identity and divided into factions. Republicans were energized by the rise of the Tea Party movement in 2010. But the movement’s influence on Congressional Republicans — its willingness to press its principles right up to the brink of a government shutdown, make life difficult for its own party’s leaders and take provocative positions on issues like Medicare — have also sparked a countermovement from the left focused on income inequality, and provided Mr. Obama another chance to occupy the center (Rutenberg, 1/4).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: In Politically Crucial Ohio, Obama Seeks A Share Of The Political Limelight
Addressing Iowa Democrats by teleconference as the GOP caucus counting was still under way, Obama described Republicans as embracing a “theory that says we’re going to cut taxes for the wealthiest among us and roll back regulations on things like clean air and health care reform, Wall Street reform, and somehow that automatically that assures that everybody is able to succeed” (1/4).

The Washington Post: Wonkblog: Five Health Reform Dates To Watch In 2012
Health reform had a big year in 2010. … And it’ll have another big year in 2014. That’s when the individual mandate kicks in, pre-existing conditions end and Medicaid expands to cover 16 million more Americans. But 2012 won’t be all quiet on the health-care front: The Obama administration is laying a policy foundation for 2014, while health reform opponents try to stop the law altogether (Kliff, 1/4).

The Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog: Readers Poll: 55.6% In Favor Of Televised Arguments In Health-Care Case
The yeas have it. But not by too wide a margin. Of the roughly 500 voters, 55.6% favored televising the Supreme Court arguments in the health-care overhaul case and 44.4% were against it. In a recent USA TODAY/Gallup Poll,  by comparison, 72% of the people surveyed said they think the Supreme Court should allow cameras in the court for arguments in the health-care case (Palazzolo, 1/3).