When I wrapped up last night (technically, this morning), I said President Obama was the big winner from Iowa’s Republican caucuses. A few readers asked what I meant by that, so let’s flesh this out a bit.

We know what the president and his re-election team didn’t want to see last night. The last thing Democrats wanted was a clear win for Mitt Romney, a united and enthusiastic Republican Party, and the likelihood of a short nominating contest.

Then consider what Obama and his team ended up with: a muddled top tier, a divided party, underwhelming GOP turnout, and the likelihood of a longer nominating contest with several Republicans eager to attack the probable nominee.

What’s more, Iowa Democratic Party Chairwoman Sue Dvorsky issued an interesting statement last night.

“Tonight’s caucus successfully brought our supporters together, and we’re overwhelmed that more than 25,000 Iowans turned out to talk about the President’s record and vision for an economy that restores security for the middle class. We not only saw how excited Iowans are to support President Obama, but to also work for his reelection.

The Iowa caucus was a great opportunity to test our campaign organization and expand our volunteer base as we move toward November. In a strong show of support, more than 7,500 Iowans tonight pledged to volunteer for the campaign over the course of the next year, underscoring their commitment to continuing the change the country has seen under President Obama’s leadership.”

This is no small feat. About 30,000 Iowa Republicans gave Mitt Romney a win last night, but 25,000 Iowa Democrats showed up to support President Obama — and Obama wasn’t facing a challenger.

It’s evidence of a pretty strong organization for the president in the Hawkeye State, and it’s why I saw Obama as the big winner last night.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.