AP Top News at 4:15 p.m. EST

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) ? Republicans rendered the first verdict in the 2012 race for the White House on Tuesday in Iowa caucuses from Adel to Zearing, opening night for the campaign to pick a challenger to President Barack Obama in the fall. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Texas Rep. Ron Paul and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum shared the straw poll ballot with House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann in a caucus race as jumbled as any in the 40 years since Iowa gained the presidential campaign lead-off position.

Obama appeals to Iowa Democrats on caucus night