U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colorado, said he stunned the Washington political establishment last week when he finished fourth among Republican presidential contenders in the Iowa straw poll.
It was a very tight race, Tancredo said in a letter to his campaign supporters. (There were) only 626 votes between second and fourth place.
Tancredo received 1,961 of the 14,302 ballots cast in the politically important Republican Party straw poll. The poll often serves to help determine the early strength of presidential contenders.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney won the event, tallying 4,416 votes. Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee was second with 2,587 votes, and Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback was just ahead of Tancredo with 2,192 votes.
Texas Rep. Ron Paul came in last with 1,305 votes.
Several Republican candidates didnt show up at the straw poll, though, including former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani and Sen. John McCain.
Tancredo, who is running a campaign focused primarily on immigration reform, said coming in fourth was still a victory for his campaign.
I am so proud to be carrying the standard for our immigration reform cause, he said in his letter. Now, the entire Republican presidential campaign takes on a new look. What even the most liberal, pro-open borders media commentators are going to have to acknowledge now is that our no-amnesty, secure-the-borders message is the message that excites grassroots conservatives.
He said the results would probably result in the field narrowing, and some candidates will probably drop out. But we are moving forward.
After asking supporters for additional campaign contributions in his letter, Tancredo described the fourth-place showing as a miracle.
As a Christian, I believe in miracles. And I think today we may have seen a real miracle take place here in Iowa.