Nightly News   |  January 03, 2012

Iowa split portends long run to nomination

Meet The Press moderator David Gregory joins Brian Williams from Des Moines to talk about the early results in Iowa.

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This content comes from a Full-Text Transcript of the program.

BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: Let's check in with the moderator of " Meet the Press ." David Gregory also in Des Moines tonight. And, David , you know the story line as well as anybody. It's can Mitt Romney hang on? How strong a showing tonight in this wild race so far?

DAVID GREGORY reporting: You said it. He sets the tone tonight, Brian , as he's done throughout the campaign. If Mitt Romney wins here tonight, he exceeds expectations. He sets the tone for what could be a march toward inevitability. He's favored in New Hampshire . He could somehow become a stronger front-runner. Up to now he's been a weaker front-runner. If he doesn't do as well, shows up in the top three lower percentage, wouldn't be a terrible blow, but there'd be some blood in the water. Maybe it's the moment that there is a viable alternative to Romney . Maybe it's Santorum . Regardless of whether he wins or whether he doesn't, the Super Bowl for social conservatives is still going to be South Carolina . We got a ways to go. This is just the start of something, Brian .

WILLIAMS: Yeah. And on from here to New Hampshire , then South Carolina , Florida , seven media markets there, a lot ahead of us. David Gregory , part of our team in Des Moines tonight, David , thanks.