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In Final Results Rick Santorum Wins Iowa By 34 Votes



The Desmoines Register reports

THE RESULTS: Santorum finished ahead by 34 votes
MISSING DATA: 8 precincts’ numbers will never be certified
PARTY VERDICT: GOP official says, ‘It’s a split decision’

Rick Santorum – Final total: 29,839 Change: -168
Mitt Romney – Final total: 29,805 Change: -210

It’s a tie for the ages.

There are too many holes in the certified totals from the Iowa caucuses to know for certain who won, but Rick Santorum wound up with a 34-vote advantage.

Results from eight precincts are missing — any of which could hold an advantage for Mitt Romney — and will never be recovered and certified, Republican Party of Iowa officials told The Des Moines Register on Wednesday.

GOP officials discovered inaccuracies in 131 precincts, although not all the changes affected the two leaders. Changes in one precinct alone shifted the vote by 50 — a margin greater than the certified tally.

The certified numbers: 29,839 for Santorum and 29,805 for Romney. The turnout: 121,503.

It’s not a surprise that the ultra-thin gap of eight votes on caucus night didn’t hold up, but it’s tough to swallow the fact that there will always be a question mark hanging over this race, politics insiders said.

The news comes at a pivotal point — two days before the South Carolina primary, the third state to vote in the nominating process, and just before another big debate tonight. Romney is under attack from all sides, and the other GOP hopefuls are struggling to convince voters that they are viable alternatives to the former Massachusetts governor.

Expect the Santorum campaign to try to leverage today’s news into extra momentum, strategists said.

“It will be a story and Santorum will seize upon it, but it won’t change the current political narrative,” said John Stineman, an Iowa Republican operative.