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Right Turn
Posted at 05:05 PM ET, 01/06/2012

Santorum ignores harebrained report, keeps his focus

The Associated Press reports:

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum shrugged off reports late Thursday that the vote count from Iowa’s caucuses might be wrong, saying the errors appear not to change the fact that he and Mitt Romney were nearly tied.
Santorum told Fox News that Iowa’s Republican Party chairman, Matt Strawn, informed him of two cases in which errors were reported in the count from Tuesday night. Taken together, Santorum said, the changes would almost cancel out each other and that Romney would win by nine votes instead of eight.

That is both factually correct and politically savvy. Voters understand the vote could have gone either way and still credit Santorum with a remarkable achievement. Moreover, the nonbinding delegates are not going to change based upon 8 or 10 votes here or there.

Matt Strawn, the head of the Iowa state GOP, emailed me:

Iowa GOP rules provide for a two-week certification process for each of the 1,774 precincts. 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. That said, Iowa GOP officials have been in contact with Appanoose County Republican officials tonight and do not have any reason to believe the final, certified results of Appanoose County will change the outcome of Tuesday’s vote.

An Iowa Republican with knowledge of the voting process but who was not authorized to speak on the record told me in all likelihood nothing will change. He explained that every campaign was allowed to have representatives at each precinct and at the tabulation center. At each precinct, campaign reps had to physically sign a document saying that the count was correct. For the report to be accurate, both the Romney and Santorum teams would have had to have been asleep at the switch. Not very likely. Moreover, the initial news report came from someone who wasn’t a precinct nor county chair.

Santorum rightly is deciding to keep his eye on the ball, namely New Hampshire and South Carolina. His refusal to jump (as some in the media did) in response to an unverified and illogical allegation speaks well of him. Not so well of the blogosphere, however.

By  |  05:05 PM ET, 01/06/2012

Categories:  2012 campaign, Media

 
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