What eight votes will (and won’t) get you

Updated
 
The front page of the Concord, New Hampshire, Monitor.
The front page of the Concord, New Hampshire, Monitor.

Sometimes a win is a win, no matter how small. Nate Silver writes today that in coming out ahead in Iowa by eight votes, Mitt Romney managed to sideline Rick Perry and avoid an outright veto by Iowa voters:

The bottom line is that Mr. Romney’s chances of becoming president are a little higher than they were 24 hours ago, quite a bit higher than they were 24 days ago, and much higher than they were 24 months ago, when he was one of among dozens of potential aspirants to the nomination. If Mr. Romney achieves his goal, he will have some more aesthetically-pleasing victories along the way.

Another way of looking at the race now, of course, is to argue that the anti-Romney vote will now get stronger as Rick Santorum rolls up those supporters and Newt Gingrich goes nuclear. Steve Benen plans that flag today. “[O]ver the next week or so, the Republican presidential field may quickly go from seven candidates to four,” he writes. “That’s the exact opposite of what Romney was hoping for.”

The headline in Concord, as you can see above, is that Mitt Romney won and he’s moving on – full stop.

Rick Santorum, Rick Perry and Mitt Romney

What eight votes will (and won't) get you

Updated