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TPM’s Evan McMorris-Santoro tweets this photo from an Iowa caucus night event attended by Rick Santorum, sans his trademark sweater vest.

Rick Santorum pushed back on conventional wisdom that he will not be the nominee despite a strong showing in Iowa, telling ABC News: “This is the first step, this is the first step…A win here is a start, but it’s a start. It’s not the culmination, it’s a start. It’s not the culmination, it’s the beginning.”

TPM’s Evan McMorris-Santoro tweets this picture of J.S. Watts in Iowa, supporting Newt Gingrich. Follow Evan for live updates.

As part of her last speech to the Iowa Caucus, Michele Bachmann returned to her evangelical-courting ways:



"We are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses of generations who have gone on before. Going back to the time of William Penn who came to this country to bring the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ, to the time of the pilgrims who came here also to share the gospel of Jesus Christ, who stated that they willingly laid down their lives, literally as stepping stones, so that the next generation would prosper and know religious liberty.


She also vowed to stop “the crown jewel of socialism”: healthcare reform.

Making his final appeal to Iowa caucus-goers, Newt Gingrich spoke this evening about his experience being the key reason why he would be the best one to take on President Obama.

“This is not a time for another amateur,” Gingrich said.

Gingrich also decried his fellow rivals for running negative ads in the campaign, which has considerably weakened his state in Iowa.

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad predicts that Mitt Romney will win tonight’s first-in-the-nation caucuses. His prediction, sealed in an envelope, was opened live on CNN.

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