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The Trail: 2012 Presidential News from the Field / CAMPAIGN 2012

Maybe Mitt Romney Didn't Win Iowa

January 6, 2012

An Iowa caucus-goer claims that the Republican Party's vote totals were off by 20 votes in favor of Mitt Romney -- an error that, if fixed, would be enough to swing the final tally in Rick Santorum's favor.

Edward True, who says he helped to count the votes at the tiny 53-person caucus in Moulton, Iowa, claims that Romney got only two votes. But when he checked the state party's website later, it credited Romney with 22 votes in Moulton. Since Romney was declared the winner by just eight votes, True contends, that mistake would have been enough to give him the victory.

GOP officials say that True is not a precinct captain and has no business talking about results, which won't be fully certified for another week anyway.


Meanwhile, Santorum says that he was told by party officials that there was a an offsetting 21-vote discrepancy in his favor, meaning the final vote tally would only be off by one.

In either case, it doesn't really matter — unless you had money riding on it — because winning or losing is not the point. The fact that Santorum could have beaten Romney is all anyone cares about at the moment.

Eight more votes won't change the primary outcomes in New Hampshire or South Carolina; and once the nomination is secure, one of them will be forced to drop out anyway. (Even at a brokered convention, which will never happen, Iowa would only send 25 delegates, and it's not a winner-take-all state.) So it's not exactly a Bush v. Gore situation.

However, True is also a Ron Paul supporter, and everyone wants to see Romney brought down a peg. So if you're looking to indulge in some conspiracy theories, knock yourself out.

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