Huffpost Politics

Rick Santorum Wins: Iowa Caucus Results

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Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum speaks at The Citadel Patriots Dinner in Charleston, S.C., Friday, Jan. 20, 2012. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum speaks at The Citadel Patriots Dinner in Charleston, S.C., Friday, Jan. 20, 2012. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

As both CNN and Politico are reporting, the Republican Party of Iowa has officially declared Rick Santorum the winner of the 2012 Iowa Caucus.

Initial results showed fellow GOP contender Mitt Romney winning the contest by 8 votes. Upon further evaluation, the Iowa Republican Party released the following statement on Friday night (via Politico):

In order to clarify conflicting reports and to affirm the results released January 18 by the Republican Party of Iowa, Chairman Matthew Strawn and the State Central Committee declared Senator Rick Santorum the winner of the 2012 Iowa Caucus.

As HuffPost's Elise Foley reported on Thursday, party officials found that Santorum had won the caucus by 34 votes, "but the results are inconclusive because votes from eight precincts will never be counted." More from Foley:

Officials found inaccurate counts in 131 precincts, including one that had an error by 50 votes, the Des Moines Register reported on Thursday.

Chad Olsen, the party’s executive director, told the Register that the results showed "a split decision." The final tallies, exempting the eight precincts that will not be tallied, were 29,839 for Santorum and 29,805 for Romney, according to the Register.

The Santorum campaign said the change in results could change the narrative of Romney as a front-runner.

"The narrative for a long time has been that Mitt Romney was 2-0," Spokesman Hogan Gidley told CNN on Thursday. "And if these results are true and Rick is ahead by 34 votes, then that's not the narrative anymore. There have been two states, two different victors."

The Daily Caller reported on Thursday that Romney called Santorum to "congratulate him" on the new Iowa vote tally.

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