01/16/2012 08:55 pm ET

Iowa Caucus Results 2012: Final Vote Count Could Show Rick Santorum Won, Not Mitt Romney

A final count of votes from the 2012 Iowa Caucus may show that Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum actually won over rival Mitt Romney.

Romney was initially declared the winner of the Iowa Caucus, beating Santorum by a razor-thin margin of eight votes. However, certification of the caucus results -- a process that began the day after the caucus and will wrap up by the end of this week -- could show that Santorum was the official winner, the Washington Examiner reports.

Doubts about Romney's win surfaced quickly after the caucus, with one vote-counter from Appanoose County coming out less than 48 hours after the caucuses and claiming a mistake gave the former Massachusetts governor 20 extra votes.

Matt Strawn, chairman of the Iowa GOP, responded to the claim with a statement assuring that the final Iowa Caucus results would come after a "two-week certification process for each of the 1,774 precincts." He also said the Iowa Republican party did "not have any reason to believe the final, certified results of Appanoose County will change the outcome of Tuesday's vote."

Iowa GOP officials said that the certification process would be complete by the end of this week.

While campaigning in South Carolina, Santorum has seemingly held onto hope that he could be the actual Iowa Caucus winner. He told a crowd at a town hall Saturday that "Iowa's not done yet."

"They're recounting those ballots right now, so hold on," Santorum said. "All this stuff about, you know, 'We're going to win and [Mitt's] got two primaries down,' just hold on one second. We're not quite done there."