Cablers Stay Up Late, Start Early Covering Closest GOP Presidential Contest Ever

By Chris Ariens Comment

The only thing closer than last night’s vote, ending at 2:33pmET, is no finish at all (2000 anyone?) With just 8 votes, Mitt Romney took first place in the Iowa Caucuses over Rick Santorum. The candidates are making the news rounds this morning after what was a late night for all and an early start for some, including CNN’s 3-day old “Early Start.”

At 3amET, CNN’s studio of stars was still going. “We are still on the air, long after we thought we wouldn’t be,” said Anderson Cooper, calling it “the special CNN after dark edition.” On Fox News, Bret Baier and Megyn Kelly stayed on until 3amET, with Baier signing off: “My flight back to Washington is in 6 hours.” On MSNBC Chris Hayes began anchoring coverage at 1amET and continued until 3amET.

Signing off at 2:39amET, FBN’s Neil Cavuto couldn’t help tweak his competitors on CNBC. “A certain rival network was and is in taped programming much of the night,” said Cavuto. “A historic battle in the republican party just got started and the so-called financial network of record is in reruns. We aren’t stopping, we are here around the clock.”

The earlier of CNN’s two new morning shows, “Early  Start with Ashleigh Banfield and Zoraida Sambolin” went on an hour early at 4amET after Cooper and company turned in. “I’m kind of looking for Serve Pro,” joked Banfield, looking around the Atlanta studio. “The election center just cleared out.”