The Washington Times - January 4, 2012, 12:05PM

Iowa Republican Party Chairman Matt Strawn said Wednesday the result of the previous day’s GOP caucus in his state should concern Democrats and President Obama.

“I think most folks realize Iowa is one of those six or seven swing states that will determine who our next president is,” Mr. Strawn said in an interview on The Washington Times-affiliated “America’s Morning News” radio program.

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“Republicans had the largest turnout in the history of our caucuses and we’ve had 34 straight months of Republican registration gains in a swing state,” he said. “I think [Democrats] would be very unwise to gloat. I think we had a good night as a party even though we certainly didn’t make an overwhelming choice with one candidate, I think our party will come out of this stronger and better organized going into the genereal election.”

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney won Tuesday’s caucus in an historically close race, edging former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum by eight votes out of the record 122,255 ballots cast.

The previous record was 119,000 votes, set in 2008.

Mr. Santorum’s skills as a hands-on, retail politician helped him make a strong impression on Iowa voters, Mr. Strawn said.