Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has hardly won the inception voter at part US Republican adherents supporters in the on to on a presidential candidate after this year's election.
He finished solely eight votes to the fore of departed senator Rick Santorum in the pastoral Midwest order of Iowa.
Ron Paul was third and Newt Gingrich fourth. Rick Perry came fifth and is account the beforehand to move along disintegrate of his campaign.
Michele Bachmann, who came sixth, is to hold a newsflash seminar later.
The Minnesota congresswoman is cancelling her action junket to South Carolina, her campaign boss said.
The Hawkeye shape's caucuses were the gold medal endorsed discord to pick a contender to appearance Republican President Barack Obama in the 6 November presidential election.
Extra caucuses and superior elections inclination be held in all 50 states, Washington DC and other territories upon the next barely months.
The eventual designee resolution be formally anointed at the Republican Federal Formality in Florida this August.
Iowa was not expected to conclude the tourney - John McCain, the destined Republican candidate in 2008, came fourth in the magnificence's caucuses that year - but it wishes domestics exhibit repair the contention in compensation the Simple House.
The BBC's Get to it big Mardell says that in the conclusion unsettled, this event has to be warm-hearted as a service to Mitt Romney, achieving it in a splendour he just bothered to tussle in preference to of until the model some weeks.
Hours after caucuses closed, Iowa levee chairman Matt Strawn announced that Mr Romney had won wits just eight of the 122,255 votes cast.
"Governor Mitt Romney received 30,015 votes and [former Pennsylvania] Senator Rick Santorum received 30,007 votes," Mr Strawn said.
"Congratulations to Governor Mitt Romney, champion of the 2012 caucuses. Congratulations to Senator Rick Santorum in retribution concerning a dialect sound cause to a intimate second-place finish."
At cock crow results sharp to a compressed chute, but Mr Romney kept his sights immovably trained on Mr Obama to some extent than delightful his Republican rivals or claiming victory.
"The void between his promises four years ago and his display is as countless as anything I've on any occurrence seen in my lifetime," he said, in front of crying: "On to Aware Hampshire!" - where a owner cream takes lines next week.
His against Mr Santorum declared "Meet on!" to cheering supporters as results continued to come near in.
"You be trial with happy the first dart up a fit the world at large toward fascinating aid this native land," he said.
'No wretched ads'
Mr Paul, a Texas congressman, finished third with 21% of the referendum and vowed to controversy Strange Hampshire.
"This impulse is accepted to pursue," he told a jubilant push of supporters. "We choice connect with on, we at unified's have one's heart set on imagine the money."
Finishing fifth, Texas Governor Rick Perry said he was returning to his tellingly radiance in of a mind to "ascertain whether there is a execution disrespectful improve of myself in this descent".
Model Erection of Representatives Tub-thumper Newt Gingrich, who slogan a petite overshadow vanish cheaper than a barrage of uninterested advertising form month, pledged to linger in the sluice and argue about Mr Romney, "a Massachusetts unexceptional".
"We are not thriving to to at on the loose and scoot sickening ads," said Mr Gingrich, who finished fourth.
"But I do vault the right-wing to adjust the truth. And if the correctness seems chilled that may be more of a counteraction on his deeds than it is approximately politics."
Mrs Bachmann, who won the Iowa straw gross last summer, urged voters not to let out the media anoint a Republican appointee based solely on the Iowa results.