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Why Rick Santorum (really) won Iowa

at 01:40 PM ET, 01/04/2012

The near-tie in Tuesday night’s Iowa Republican caucuses left the political world wondering: Who really won?

By the numbers, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney did — claiming 30,015 votes to 30,008 for former Pennsylvania senator R ick Santorum.

But, measured by the candidate who gained the most from what happened in Iowa, it’s clear that Santorum emerged victorious.

Check out these two charts — created by Mention Machine, the Post’s newest and coolest app — that show Santorum’s social media surge.

Here’s a look at Santorum’s Twitter mentions over the past 24 hours:

And here’s a look at how Romney fared on Twitter over the past 24 hours:

Winning for Santorum, who has been toiling in the second or third tier for months and months, amounts to getting attention. The two charts above show that Santorum is the buzz/momentum candidate of the moment.

How — and whether — he can keep it up will be a key to his success or failure going forward.

 
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