powered by  
The Gazette KCRG
Posted January 19, 2012
No ‘official’ Iowa caucus winner, but Santorum got most votes

Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum is joined by his wife Karen as he waves to supporters at his Iowa caucus victory party Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012, in Johnston, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

UPDATE: Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum will be listed in Republican Party of Iowa records as the winner of the party’s 2012 precinct caucuses, but his 34-vote victory over GOP presidential rival Mitt Romney will be accompanied by an asterisk.

That’s because party officials said Thursday that results from eight of the 1,774 precincts were missing when they conducted the vote certification process, meaning they likely will never know what the final tallies were for the candidates who competed in the Jan. 3 balloting.

The certified results of 1,766 precincts made public Thursday showed Santorum with 29,839 votes, followed by Romney – a former Massachusetts governor – with 29,805, Texas Rep. Ron Paul in third with 26,036, former House speaker Newt Gingrich with 16,163, Texas Gov. Rick Perry with 12,557, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann – who quit the race one day after Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses – with 6,046 and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman with 739. Party officials said 121,503 votes were certified.

While still incomplete, the party’s certified results flip the top two finishers compared to the order announced in the early-morning hours of Jan. 4 when Iowa GOP Chairman Matt Strawn said the unofficial count showed Romney with an 8-vote lead over Santorum.

“Just as I did in the early morning hours on January 4, I congratulate Sen. Santorum and Gov. Romney on a hard-fought effort during the closest contest in caucus history,” Strawn said in a statement. “Our goal throughout the certification process was to most accurately reflect and report how Iowans voted the evening of Jan. 3. We understand the importance to the candidates involved, but as Iowans, we understand the responsibility we have as temporary caretakers of the Iowa caucuses.”

The dead-heat finish essentially became a battle for bragging rights because Santorum’s unexpected surge in the closing days made him the candidate who carried the most momentum out of Iowa in a hotly contested nomination process that will see the next test for delegate support come on Saturday in South Carolina.

Romney, who left Iowa two weeks ago thinking he had outpolled Santorum with a tally of 30,015 votes to the ex-senator’s 30,007 among Iowa Republicans, issued a statement Thursday calling the party’s canvass results “a virtual tie.”

“I would like to thank the Iowa Republican Party for their careful attention to the caucus process, and we once again recognize Rick Santorum for his strong performance in the state,” Romney said in his statement. “The Iowa caucuses, with record turnout, were a great start to defeating President Obama in Iowa and elsewhere in the general election.”

While still a record, the certified turnout of 121,503 with eight precincts unrecovered was down from the 122,255 unofficial total announced on Jan. 4. The previous high turnout in a GOP presidential caucus was 118,253 votes cast in 2008.

Thursday’s release of certified precinct-by-precinct results came after a two-week period in which party officials in each of Iowa’s 99 counties were required to submit a form documenting the count from all of their precincts by 5 p.m. Wednesday.

2 Responses to No ‘official’ Iowa caucus winner, but Santorum got most votes

  1. Way to go, Gazette: the headline on your homepage is EXACTLY WRONG. According to the piece above, Santorum got the most votes of the ones available to be counted, not Romney.

  2. That’s because party officials said Thursday that results from eight of the 1,774 precincts were missing when they conducted the vote certification process, meaning they likely will never know what the final tallies were for the candidates who competed in the Jan. 3 balloting.

    If you have 1 missing vote the system is flawed. I have no respect or trust in a voting system that can’t keep track of results that were written down. What no one remembers the results. This is a sad excuse for a voting system.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Tags

, , , , ,

From the community

Local Life