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Disappointed Romney Supporters Note 'Reagan Lost Iowa'

By Michael D. Shear
DES MOINES, Jan. 3 -- They packed into Mitt Romney's victory party, and were quickly disappointed. But the boisterous crowd was anything but defeated.

"Huckabee had too much of a surge at the end, but in New Hampshire, he's off the charts," said Chip Tobey, 54, a computer consultant from Dayton, Ohio, who had come to campaign for Romney in Iowa. "This is just one of 50 contests."

Just as Romney urged them to do, his most fervent supporters expressed optimism that Romney's failure to win in Iowa would not be the end of the presidential road for him.

Dell Tschudin, 55, a retired pastor from Papillion, Neb., was an early Romney volunteer and was rewarded with a membership card that looks like a credit card. He noted that the expiration date says 12-31-2008, almost a year from now.

"It's just the beginning," he said. "We kinda expected it."

Jerry Wheeler, 55, works in the Colorado legislature and lives in Denver. But he came to Iowa to help make calls and knock on doors for Romney.

"What the heck," he said. "Reagan lost Iowa. Bush lost Iowa. Losing Iowa doesn't seem to impact the end result so many people want it to."

By Washington Post editors  |  January 4, 2008; 12:03 AM ET
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