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Iowa Caucuses Show Ethanol No Longer Sacred to Rural Voters

Allegiance to ethanol, once required for political success in rural states, has faded in importance as some candidates skeptical about biofuel subsidies fared better than supporters in the Iowa caucuses.

Staunch ethanol opponent Ron Paul took second in rural counties. Rick Santorum, who won the vote in farm country, relied on support from religious conservatives -- although support for biofuels helped. Mitt Romney, who has criticized long-term government subsidies for the fuel, carried the entire state. Newt Gingrich consulted for an industry group and had the highest rating on farm policy from the Iowa Corn Growers Association. He took fourth.