Well here we are, first voting night of the presidential season, and CNN is already completely insane, playing with ludicrous pastel penis holograms while Wolf Blitzer meanders around looking for some anxious correspondent to appear on a garish outer space screen and say nothing. Only in Iowa!...?? Let's get this over with.

8:08 — Well the old people have started hopping up and down and waving paper all around — this is what caucuses are; somehow a politician is chosen in the end — but we've got some hot news! Someone actually responded to our desperate solicitation for on-the-ground photos at a caucus. He's there working on a documentary, just like Michael Moore and the other guy would do! He's sending a few photos over whenever he can from Blackhawk County in northwest Iowa, where Michele Bachmann and Newt Gingrich have been spending their night crying about Mitt Romney. Here's but one photo from our man on the ground and official honorary Mormon space god of the night, Jamie Gonçalves.

"Newt is the only one with a security team that stands in front of the stage," he writes. "And I don't know if you can see it on tv but it's awkward seeing his wife stare at his face for entire speeches." Yeah, we can see it. Callista Gingrich is weird. Can we just say that? Something's off with that one. I mean... she married Newt Gingrich. Anyway.
8:17 — What are the other channels like? Is MSNBC 100% unbearable and preachy yet? You know, Lawrence O'Donnell giving some big speech about how he went to Africa and gave a few poor kids some nickels and now he's a Good Liberal? Don't know why he would say that; it has nothing to do with the caucuses. But you know. At least CNN has Wolf Blitzer trying to play with a studio of depressing electronics, and Fox is always funny. What are you all watching?
8:24 — We have STARTLING numbers from the earliest of the early returns: Paul, Santorum, and Romney are tied with 20-some percentage points each, just as it was expected to be.
8:30 — If anyone knows where the infamous Secret Ballot Counting Bunker is — and really, how good could Iowa Republican party officials be at keeping a secret? — you should email me and hoo boy, we could have a whole lot of fun tonight, I mean some real fun. CNN just showed some gritty camera footage of ballot counters in what appeared to be one of those old kitchens where mob bosses meet and draw up plans to steal things, such as money or... elections?
8:38 — Ron Paul is SLAMMA-jAmMiN' the other candidates by dozens of points. Also, only one percent of returns have come in. Let's all keep our pants on here, Ron Paul hasn't ended drugs and war and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 just yet.
8:47 — The "Early Birds" are done and headed to bed, satisfied. CNN just unveiled 474 different numbers, entrance polls and actual returns and then some guy with three computers and a headpiece who probably couldn't get a job on Wall Street, smiling and showing algorithms to a blank-faced Wolf Blitzer who looks about ready to pack it in for good. A reporter is now harassing a poll worker trying to do her job, carrying ballots to a man behind a sheet. Now we're back in another mobster room counting all the papers. Did you know that Iowa is all connected by ancient catacombs? Who's the "simple people" now, college boy?
8:53 — You know those people who are watching this on CSPAN and won't shut up about how beautiful it is to see American Democracy in action from the cute little people of Iowa in their barns? Fuck them.
9:03 — I don't want to do this for every new vote that comes in, but at 10% precincts reporting, it's 24% for Paul and Romney, 23% for Santorum, 13% for "The Speaker," 9% for Perry, 6% for Bachmann.
9:07 — Ron Paul is just roasting the others among moderates and liberals, who showed up in huge numbers for the express purpose of caucusing for Ron Paul. I didn't think the Paul campaign could successfully get everyone off the computer for a night. But could the rumors of the indestructible beast that is the Paul organization be true? Are libtards and children and moddies going to win the Republican Iowa caucuses for a candidate that a majority of Republicans consider their enemy? That's not going to fly in national Republican HQ, atop Death Mountain. Bye bye, Iowa caucuses!
9:20 — Newt Gingrich, who's probably never felt angrier about another human being than he's felt about Romney these past few days, is kind of looking forward to leaving Iowa and wriggling out of his silly "don't go negative" pledge. For example: He's running a full-page ad in the Manchester Union Leader tomorrow labeling Romney a "Timid Massachusetts Moderate" and himself a "Bold Reagan Conservative." Cute start, but in a couple more days the contrast will devolve into "Shithead" vs. "Fundamentally More Talented Version of Abraham Lincoln."

And good for Newt Gingrich! He's obviously worse than Romney in the long-term, but if you saw Romney on teevee at all today (he was on every five minutes) just smiling and DIRECTLY LYING AND GIGGLING over and over about his relationship with his SuperPACs, and how he has no connection or input into all of the smear ads they run fifty times a second while he just wants to talk positively about The Issues... give me a break. You forget how proudly and completely hollow a person Mitt Romney is at times. So let's block everything else out for a bit and hope Gingrich can make his life hell for the next week.
9:39 — Question: When these new social media political people (and everyone on CNN and Fox and MSNBC) talk about which candidates are the most searched on Google or mentioned on Twitter or poked on Facebook or kidnapped on Bing or castrated on Amazon, and so on, what is their point?
9:50 — 27% reporting and Romney, Paul, and Santorum are tied at 23%. MAYHEM!

9:56 — Our photo friend Jamie in Iowa had to transfer to another building of old people hopping up and down and throwing paper all around (or "watching Iowans do the handiwork of democracy live on CSPAN" that "makes me proud to be an American" as those types described in the 8:53 update would put it), but here's another photo he sent of a crazy lady who maybe runs Iowa? "The lady in the red hat actually has some kind of position with power," Jamie explains. Perhaps she holds the Master Key to the Secret Counting Bunker. Iowa is awesome.
10:05 — Here's a question for you people to think about overnight, in the worst nightmare of your lives: Which candidate had a bodyguard clean a toilet before he/she used it? Maybe we'll find out soon!
10:30 — So much Iowa Caucus hatred this time around. There's only 100,00 relatively homogenous people participating, it's just the first awarding of a few delegates, it can be hijacked by a fringe candidate with good organization, etc. All points worthy of debate and yet ones I didn't hear much about in the media when Barack Obama won the nomination thanks to a huge win in Iowa and subsequent hauls in unchallenged caucus states. Everyone is such a spinner, now, spinning and spinning. Is it New Hampshire yet?
10:48 — 88% in, sheeple! And it's Santorum and Romney tied at 25% with Paul at 21%. It seems that the Republican electorate is having consolidation issues!
10:52 — Wolf Blitzer has waved at a wall.
10:54 — Michele Bachmann has about 5% of the vote and 5,000 votes total — just slightly more than she got in the Ames Straw Poll, which is just some people in a room at a fair as opposed to a statewide contest (of some people in rooms). She will have to drop out tomorrow; the ANTI-ROMNEYS (this is such a dorky election year) need to weed out some of these comical failure candidates and quick if they ever hope to unite around the ONE TRUE ANTI-ROMNEY. rn the ANTI-ROMNEYS could just stop caring and accept Romney because he's their party's only legitimate and viable candidate... but you know, up to them. It's getting late.
10:55 — The television is finally projecting Ron Paul as the winner of third place. Oh well, maybe the Paul inner circle and advisers, who have been working and running together for at least six years, should have come up with something resembling a plan for fending off obvious attacks they'd get if they ever started topping polls. It's a lesson for 2016, when he will be the oldest man ever.
11:09 — Ron Paul: "I'm looking forward to the day when we can say, 'We're all Austrians now!'" Yeah, why does the evil media always question Ron Paul's ability win a United States presidential election?
11:15 — Romney is beating Santorum by 13 votes with 93% reporting. Hehehe... "beating Santorum"... hehehe... butt froth... no, it doesn't work here.
11:19 — Newt Gingrich is talking, and he's angry, and he finished fourth. He has the stage. He is going to say something COMPLETELY AMAZING.
11:22 — Gingrich congratulates Ron Paul on his well-run campaign. He then notes that Ron Paul's presidency would unquestionably lead to a collapse of the United States and concurrent nuclear winter.
11:26 — So Newt Gingrich decides to go after Romney by contrasting brave soldiers who die in wars everywhere to people who run negative ads through SuperPACs. And he does it... somewhat eloquently, as these things go? Anyway he is going to nuke Mitt Romney this week, somehow. Probably by running negative ads through SuperPACs.
11:34 — Michele Bachmann has been talking for 2-3 minutes but hasn't dropped out yet. Michele? *taps on watch*
11:40 — Michele Bachmann doesn't drop out. What about Rick Perry, where's he? He is not doing very well in the presidential race, either. If he knows what's good for him, he's back at ol' Niggerhead already, just stone cold chompin' through a sack of Vicodin.

11:48 — Hey CNN.com, are you sure that's Michele Bachmann in the photo? It's clearly the other politics lady, Condoleezza Hillary McWhatever. Or the Alaskan one; there was a woman in Alaska once whose name was in the papers. (h/t Rod Blackhurst)
11:58 — Rick Perry is still in the house. But he's taking our advice and will go back to Texas to look at the situation (bad) and "reassess." He'll be swimming through that sack of Vicodin like Scrooge McDuck through some gold coins in a matter of hours. It was sad to see him cry. Best of luck, Rick Perry, for serious.
12:16 — John McCain will endorse Mitt Romney in New Hampshire, one of the few states where McCain is still very popular, just in case Romney's 30-point cushion there isn't enough. Meh. Oh look there's Rick Santorum on the teevee, fapping to God. Also, we still do not have a winner of the motherfucking Iowa caucuses.
12:23 — In honor of Rick Santorum's God, a brief one-act:

God: Hey Republicans, Obama has no business winning reelection with his numbers in this climate, so you can basically just take it.
Republicans: Thanks God, you're #1.
God: Cool. I just need the candidate's name to put on this sheet here, for my God records.
Republicans: Rick Santorum.
God: Ha ha ha nevermind.

12:30 — It is pretty fascinating watching Santorum and Romney go back and forth with the lead on the side panel, with 99% reporting, while Santorum babbles about whatever. This would actually be something close to full-on "FUN POLITICAL TIMES" if it had happened like five hours ago.
12:38 — WHY HERE'S MITTENS, CHIPPER AS EVER! EHEH EHEH, EHEH. (I'm still trying to master the spelling of that weird nervous pant he does when he's forcing himself to get animated, but that kind of works, right? EHEH EHEH, EHEH.)
12:49 — The fact that Mitt Romney can deliver the line "Corn counts as an amber wave of grain, amirite, eheh eheh, eheh," something that is disturbingly anti-funny and yet a line that he's repeated God knows how many hundreds of times over the years, again tonight, at midnight, with a perfectly straight face and a dumb giggle, does not help his argument that he's a member of the human race.
1:01 — Wolf Blitzer. To. Rick Santorum. On the teevee: "You may be the winner, by all accounts you're the winner, you may win you may lose, but for all practical purposes you're the winner."

1:07 — Your Gawker Political Desk is making an editorial decision to stop typing and go to bed, despite the lingering drama between Rick PoopCum and MITTENS over a couple of votes in a wash election. THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! And commenting and sticking around in general. This was really fun for at least the first 4-5 hours. But now the nomination is more settled than it was earlier today, so it's over, the end.

1:36 — Romney by ONE VOTE at the moment! Now back to hiding...