The Iowa caucuses may have provided the most razor-thin 1-2 finish in the 2012 Republican race, with Rick Santorum edging Mitt Romney by 0.03 points (34 votes) and Ron Paul just 3.13 points back. However, the closest 1-2-3 finish that cycle was actually in Mississippi nearly two and one-half months later, where the state’s March 13th primary was a race for the ages. Santorum edged Newt Gingrich by 1.58 points (4,646 votes) with Romney 2.07 points behind the former Pennsylvania U.S. Senator (6,097 votes). As a result, the delegate allocation was a near draw with Santorum winning 13 and Gingrich and Romney securing 12 each. Prior to 2012, the closest GOP presidential primary race in Mississippi was 34.4 points when Bob Dole defeated Pat Buchanan in 1996.

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