Did Santorum Win the Iowa Caucus?

A certified new vote count from Iowa shows Republican Rick Santorum — and not his rival Mitt Romney — won the state’s crucial caucuses, but results from eight precincts are missing, a local newspaper reported Thursday.

A final total shows conservative Christian candidate Santorum beat Romney, the frontrunner in the Republican battle for the right to challenge Democratic President Barack Obama in November’s election, by 34 votes, according to the Des Moines Register.

The paper cited local party officials in revealing the new figures, which jibe with the original vote result that had Romney nipping Santorum by just eight votes.

But the new certified count has a major asterisk by its side, as any one of the eight unknown precincts could have given Romney a winning margin, so the victor will never be known for sure, it said.

After a late night of vote counting following the January 3 caucuses Romney had been declared the victor, beating Santorum by an unprecedented razor-thin margin of eight votes, boosting the former Massachusetts governor’s frontrunner status.

But tallies from across the large Midwestern state continued to trickle in, and as officials chased down vote results from dozens of late precincts, Romney’s lead evaporated. Eight days after the caucuses, Santorum had a tiny lead.

By the Wednesday deadline for reporting, results from eight precincts were missing.

Chad Olsen, executive director of the Republican Party in Iowa, said party leaders will likely never know the results from those precincts because they never had the official election result forms, the Register reported.

“It’s a split decision,” Olsen said.

Read more at AFP.


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