Edith Pfeffer (center) on CNN on Tuesday night. (Courtesy of CNN)

The surprise stars of the Iowa caucus weren’t the candidates — they were two Republican women from Clinton, Iowa who created a late-night sensation on CNN. Carolyn Tallett and Edith Pfeffer charmed Wolf Blitzer, John King and the rest of political team after a snafu in the vote counting left out their precinct.

A winner couldn’t be called until Clinton’s votes were recorded, so at about 1:30 a.m., a CNN political director reached Tallett, who woke Pfeffer up to verify the vote count — and it played out live for a worldwide audience. “We all discovered it was these two women who could fix the problem,” Blitzer told us.

Anderson Cooper called it “the best live phone call ever”; the women became trending stars on Twitter. Iowa officials announced Romney’s win by eight votes, and the CNN crew called the two back live on-air to thank them. Said Blitzer, “People watched American democracy unfold.”

See also: BlogPost: Edith and Carolyn celebrities of Iowa caucus after solving mystery of missing votes