As Iowa caucus watchers entered the wee hours, waiting to see whether Rick Santorum or Mitt Romney would win, the woman with the answers was fast asleep. Edith Pfeffer, the Republican chairwoman in Clinton County, held the crucial votes from the 2nd Ward's second precinct that would ultimately determine the winner.
But at 1:30 a.m., Pfeffer had retired to sleep in a room without a phone. She couldn’t hear the calls from the Romney campaign, CNN, or her friend Carolyn Tallett, who soon came to ring her doorbell and pound on her windows.
Pfeffer said she reported the numbers at 11:20 p.m. to a Romney worker in Clinton County, who told her that there had been a computer glitch in getting the numbers to Des Moines. But the state party headquarters needed a second confirmation--after Pfeffer had gone to bed.
“You cringe a little bit,” Pfeffer told NPR in speaking of how she awoke. “And the next thing I knew, someone was pounding on the windows and I thought, ‘What is going on?’ And I got up to see Carolyn running in my front yard.”
Pfeffer and Tallett then called state party headquarters to confirm the precinct’s votes and spoke by phone to CNN's John King as he tallied the votes live. King told the two women that their numbers did not match what the state was reporting, an indication that they held the missing piece that ultimately determined Romney the winner.
Watch Pfeffer's and Tallett's call with CNN: