Romney, Paul, and Santorum are in what amounts to a three-way tie at 23% each. Nope, Romney has nosed ahead with 24%. Perry has climbed out of single digits to reach 10%, 3 points behind Gingrich. He spent $4 million on media in Iowa. This was a doomed exercise from the beginning. It makes me wonder whether Perry was ever serious about running for president, or whether the whole campaign was a sham designed to raise his profile nationally and help him audition for a real job. Well, it raised his profile, all right, but not in a way that helped him. He’s ruined as a national figure. He’ll get non-prime time speaking slot at the Republican National Convention. The Perry campaign continues to look foolish with its phony bravado. CNN is reporting that the campaign’s reaction to its fifth place finish in Iowa is the following statement: “I mean the idea that one or two states is going to decide who the next nominee for the Republican Party is, is just, you know, that’s not reality. This is a 50 state campaign and it’s about the future of America,” Perry said. Perry’s campaign announced earlier this week they were going straight from Iowa to South Carolina, bypassing New Hampshire, site of the first-in-the-nation primary, where more moderate Republicans predominate. * * * * The idea that the Perry campaign could mount a fifty-state strategy is a pipe dream. No chance whatsoever. Perry is no longer a serious candidate for president. He has been reduced to a bit player who has no chance to reach the top tier of candidates. Turn out the lights, the party’s over. 9:37 p.m report: 52% of the vote is in, Romney and Santorum still tied @24%, Paul drops back to 3rd.