Did Mitt Romney really win Iowa?
The results of Tuesday’s Iowa GOP caucuses show the former Massachusetts governor besting former senator Rick Santorum by eight votes, 30,015 to 30,007.
But those figures were thrown into doubt late Thursday after a man who helped tabulate the caucus results in Appanoose County 100 miles southeast of Des Moines said he believes a typo led Romney’s vote total to be inflated by 20 votes.
Reports KCCI-TV from Des Moines:
Edward True, 28, of Moulton, said he helped count the votes and jotted the results down on a piece of paper to post to his Facebook page. He said when he checked to make sure the Republican Party of Iowa got the count right, he said he was shocked to find they hadn’t.
“When Mitt Romney won Iowa by eight votes and I’ve got a 20-vote discrepancy here, that right there says Rick Santorum won Iowa,” True said. “Not Mitt Romney.”
True said at his 53-person caucus at the Garrett Memorial Library, Romney received two votes. According to the Iowa Republican Party’s website, True’s precinct cast 22 votes for Romney.
“This is huge,” True said. “It essentially changes who won.”
True, a supporter of Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), was one of three people tallying the ballots in Appanoose County. He told the Daily Iowegian that the county officials’ numbers matched his own and that “it’s the state’s numbers that don’t match.”
In a statement late Thursday night, Iowa Republican Party Chairman Matt Strawn said that the state Republican Party had been in contact with county officials and that the party “(does) not have any reason to believe the final, certified results of Appanoose County will change the outcome of Tuesday’s vote.”
“Iowa GOP rules provide for a two-week certification process for each of the 1,774 precincts,” Strawn said. “The Iowa GOP will announce the final, certified results of the 2012 Iowa Caucuses following this process. Out of respect to the candidates involved, party officials will not respond to every rumor, innuendo or allegation during the two week process.”
Even if the revised final vote tally were to shift Iowa into Santorum’s column, it’s unlikely that would drastically alter the dynamics of the GOP race: The slim margin separating the two GOP hopefuls — among the narrowest margins in history — has become a bigger focal point coming out of Iowa than which candidate narrowly emerged on top.
Today on the trail (Courtesy of the PBS NewsHour Political Calendar and campaign advisories; all times Eastern):
7:15 a.m.: Jon Huntsman attends the Hampton Rotary Meeting in Hampton, N.H.
7:30 a.m.: Rick Santorum addresses the Queen City Rotary in Manchester, N.H.
7:55 a.m.: Mitt Romney holds a town hall at the Boys and Girls Club in Salem, N.H.
9 a.m.: Newt Gingrich holds a town hall at the Plymouth Senior Center in Plymouth, N.H.
9 a.m.: Jon Huntsman holds a town hall at Goss International in Durham, N.H.
9 a.m.: Rick Perry holds a meet-and-greet at Lizard’s Thicket in Lexington, S.C.
11 a.m.: Rick Santorum holds a town hall at the Merrimack Valley Railroad in Northfield, N.H.
11:30 a.m.: Newt Gingrich holds a town hall at the Northern Grafton County Republican Committee in Littleton, N.H.
11:45 a.m.: Jon Huntsman attends a business lunch at the Pease International Trade Port in Portsmouth, N.H.
12:45 p.m.: Newt Gingrich takes a tour of Littleton, N.H.
1 p.m.: Rick Santorum eats lunch with patrons at the Tilt’n Diner in Tilton, N.H.
2 p.m.: Newt Gingrich holds a town hall at the Great North Woods Welcome Center in Lancaster, N.H.
3:30 p.m.: Rick Santorum addresses the College Convention 2012 in Concord, N.H.
3:45 p.m.: Mitt Romney holds a rally at the Founder’s Hall in Charleston, S.C.
7 p.m.: Newt Gingrich holds a town hall in Meredith, N.H.
7 p.m.: Rick Santorum holds a town hall in Windham, N.H.
7 p.m.: Jon Huntsman holds an event at the Newport Recreation Department in Newport, N.H.