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STUDENT NEWS

Romney Beats Santorum by 8 Votes in Iowa Caucuses

Aired January 5, 2012 - 04:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


CARL AZUZ, HOST, CNN STUDENT NEWS: If you think one vote can`t make a difference, don`t tell that to anyone involved with this week`s Iowa caucuses. I`m Carl Azuz. Thanks for spending part of your Thursday with CNN Student News.

Eight votes -- that was the difference between first and second place for the Republican presidential candidates on Tuesday. Officials think it could be the closest finish ever in an Iowa Republican presidential contest.

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AZUZ (voice-over): These were the top three candidates. Starting from the left, you have former governor Mitt Romney, and in the center, former senator Rick Santorum. Both of them got about 25 percent of the vote. But Romney had those eight additional votes, so he is the winner. U.S. Representative Ron Paul, on the right, came in third with 21 percent.

The reactions to the Iowa results started coming in yesterday. Senator John McCain, who was the Republican Party`s presidential nominee four years ago endorsed Mitt Romney.

U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann, who came in sixth place in Iowa, announced that she`s suspending her campaign. It`s not unusual to see some of the candidates who finish lower in these early contests drop out of the race for the White House.

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AZUZ: Next up is New Hampshire, which holds its primary next Tuesday. But before we move forward, here`s a look back at Tuesday`s coverage of the Iowa caucuses as the night unfolded.

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WOLF BLITZER, HOST, THE SITUATION ROOM: No one knows what will happen within the next few hours. One of these seven Republicans could take a step closer to the White House. Others may be forced to drop out of the race after Iowans have their say.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right down here at the end of the hall is where this process really begins and ends. This is a check-in table. As you can see, there are people signing their names and addresses, what have you, and if their name isn`t on the list, but if they want to participate in the caucus, they can simply sign up, register as a Republican, and then they`re eligible to do so.

What you`re looking at right now is the votes being tabulated, those on each piece of paper is the name of one of the candidates.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here`s a Ron Paul.

BLITZER: You can make a projection, a projection of sorts, not necessarily the kind of projection we normally make. But CNN now projects who will come in third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh. We can`t project who comes in first or second, because you saw how close it is between Santorum and Romney.

Mitt Romney is 13 votes ahead of Rick Santorum, 13 votes separate Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, 27,830 to 27,817, 92 percent of the precincts have reported. How close is this? I don`t think it could get much closer.

John, one vote separating these two guys as we speak right now.

JOHN KING, HOST, JOHN KING U.S.A.: As we speak, and we wait for the final vote to come in.

MATT STRAWN, CHAIRMAN, IOWA REPUBLICAN PARTY: Congratulations, Mitt Romney, winner of the 2012 Iowa caucuses. Congratulations, Senator Santorum, for a very close second place finish. Excellent race here. And congratulations, Congressman Paul and all the other candidates (inaudible) in the 2012 Iowa caucuses.

BLITZER: Anderson, take a look -- the most important number we have right now is the bottom of the screen, 100 percent. That`s what we were waiting for, 100 percent of the precincts have now officially reported the Iowa caucuses. And take a look at this: Mitt Romney -- you see that check. He`s the winner, 30,015 votes; Rick Santorum, second, 30,007 votes. Mitt Romney wins by a grand total of eight votes.

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AZUZ (voice-over): CNN iReports let you sound off on major news stories, like this year`s presidential election. Find out how to send in an iReport at our website, cnnstudentnews.com. You have to be at least 13 years old. Today`s assignment, in 30 seconds or less, tell us the political issue you think should get the most attention in the race for the White House.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today`s Shoutout goes out to Mr. Joyce`s geography classes at United South Central High School in Wells, Minnesota. Which of these European nations does not use the euro as its official currency? Here we go. Is it France, Germany, Netherlands or United Kingdom? You`ve got three seconds, go.

The United Kingdom`s official currency is the pound sterling, not the euro. That`s your answer, and that`s your Shoutout.

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AZUZ: Might not be its official currency, but the United Kingdom is affected by the euro, because so many other countries in the European Union rely on it. 2011, not a good year for the euro or for Europe financially. Huge debt problems for several countries caused shock waves across the continent. Is 2012 going to be any better? Matthew Chance has our preview.

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MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): If fireworks were a measure of a country`s prospects, 2012 might be Britain`s year. The spectacular New Year`s display over the river Thames was meant to set the tone to usher in the year that London hosts the Olympics, and Queen Elizabeth celebrates her diamond jubilee.

But even the prime minister acknowledges 2012 won`t be all parties and sparkles.

DAVID CAMERON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Of course, I know there will be many people watching this who are worried about what else the year might bring. There are fears about jobs and paying the bills. The search for work has become difficult, particularly for young people. And rising prices have hit household budgets. I get that.

(APPLAUSE)

CHANCE (voice-over): Plagued by financial crisis, spiraling debt and the threat of renewed recession, many Europeans aren`t sorry to see the back of 2011. Celebrations in Paris were euphoric. But President Nicolas Sarkozy`s new year message was less than optimistic. Trailing in opinion polls, ahead of an election battle this year, he did his best to encourage his compatriots.

FRENCH PRESIDENT NICOLAS SARKOZY (through translator): With what is happening in the world, 2012 will be a year of risks and dangers, but also possibilities full of hope if we know how to meet the challenges, full of dangers if we stand still.

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AZUZ: Well, the global financial crisis is just that: global. People all over the world are hoping for better economic times in 2012. In Japan, where Shintoism and Buddhism are the dominant religions, many people are turning to their faith in an effort to help their own finances and their country`s economy. Kyung Lah has the details on this.

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KYUNG LAH, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): At the Condom Yo Jing (ph) Shrine in the heart of Tokyo`s business district, the Japanese believe the gods will grace New Year`s pilgrims with prosperity. Perhaps that`s why thousands are here in these tough economic times to offer a heavenly token and to pray -- and pray hard.

LAH: There are so many people waiting to get in that the line is spilling out into the street. You have to step through a gate to get to the main shrine area. And it`s only then that you see exactly how many people are here. About 70,000 people will visit the shrine today -- this first week of the new year, about half a million people, all praying for an economically prosperous 2012.

LAH (voice-over): In line, I meet Guillaume Sakuma, who isn`t here for his personal finances, but his country`s.

GUILLAUME SAKUMA, SHRINE VISITOR: It was not a nice year last year because of the earthquake and then followed by a European crisis and then so on. So hopefully we`ll have a better year this year.

LAH (voice-over): An optimistic note struck on the year`s opening day of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, surging on positive global news out of Germany and China. Japan`s prime minister was more downbeat. Facing a host of economic challenges in 2012 after the disasters of 2011, Noda quoted Winston Churchill.

JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER YOSHIHIKO NODA: Never, never, never, never give up.

LAH (voice-over): The tide will turn around, he says, as long as we don`t give up.

LAH: Are you thinking more about the global economy or about the Japanese economy?

AKIKO MATSUBARA, SHRINE VISITOR (speaking Japanese).

LAH: "I`m worried about both," says Akiko Matsubara, because Europe affects Japan." She adds that this year will continue to be rough.

QUENTIN BRANDON, SHRINE VISITOR: It`s complicated. I know. It`s not going to be answered by just our prayers.

LAH: But thousands of prayers can`t hurt. While it seems that so much of the global economy is out of our control, maybe, just maybe, a Higher Power is listening -- Kyung Lah, CNN, Tokyo.

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AZUZ: Well, before we go, some of you hate mowing the lawn.

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AZUZ (voice-over): You`ve got something in common with this crocodile. "Elvis" -- his name is Elvis -- lives in an Australian reptile park. Look at this. He was not happy when someone tried to mow the grass last week, and that`s one tug-of-war you don`t want to be at the other end of.

Elvis lost a couple teeth in this, but he got to keep the mower as a trophy -- at least for a while. The park rangers say the problem is that the croc thinks he won this particular battle.

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AZUZ: Guess it just proves that Elvis is the king. Thank you very much. No one was hurt, so it all turned out fine, "mower" or less, although that one ranger definitely "lawned" his lesson. You wanted the puns, you got the puns. It`s time for us to "cut" out of here. Enjoy the rest of your day. For CNN Student News, I`m Carl Azuz.

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