They may have flirted with other, spicier candidates, but Republican voters will return to the one who is stable, reasonable, and thoroughly unexciting.
Other than the losing candidates themselves, the people unhappiest with the Iowa results must be journalists and Democrats.
Journalists for the simple and obvious reason that a fierce battle is a lot more interesting to watch, and to write about, than a triumphal march. And Democrats because, even though Mitt Romney didn't emerge from the caucuses entirely unscathed, what he suffered was, as they used to say in old cowboy movies, "just a flesh wound." And since Democrats know Romney is the most dangerous -- arguably the only dangerous -- Republican presidential candidate in the field, they would like to have seen him injured far more grievously than actually occurred. An eight-vote win isn't much of a win (his margin of victory was even narrower than Al Gore's in the 2000 presidential election), but no one can call it a defeat.
Perhaps the best way to think about Republican primary voters this year is to imagine them as the bride in an arranged marriage. Her parents have chosen well for her, better than she had any right to expect; she has no grounds for complaint and knows it. The groom they have found for her is responsible, decent, reliable, a good provider, and even very handsome. But he just doesn't excite her. There's nothing about him that makes her heart beat faster. When she contemplates a future being wedded to him, something inside her shrivels up and dies.