Iowans like these, gathered in a classroom at Burlington High School in Burlington, Iowa, cast ballots in the January 3 Iowa caucus, which resulted in a razor-thin victory for Mitt Romney, a former Massachusetts governor and Republican candidate for the U.S. presidency, over Rick Santorum, a former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania.
Romney’s eight-vote win, the closest margin of victory in a Republication presidential contest, broke the record of 257 votes set in 1936, when Alf Landon won the South Dakota primary. Landon, the governor of Kansas, went on to win the Republican nomination but lost the presidential race to incumbent Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
In 2008, Barack Obama earned the closest-ever margin in a U.S. presidential contest, defeating Hillary Rodham Clinton by seven votes in the Guam caucus. Guam, like other U.S. territories, participates in the presidential nominating process.