Rick Santorum Won Iowa Caucus, New Results Reveal

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  • Rick Santorum
    (Photo: REUTERS/Mike Segar)
    Republican presidential candidate and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum arrives at a campaign stop in Manchester, New Hampshire, January 6, 2012. The New Hampshire Republican presidential primary election is on January 10.
By Stephanie Samuel, Christian Post Reporter
January 19, 2012|1:40 pm

Rick Santorum beat out Mitt Romney and won the Republican Iowa caucus by 34 votes, newly discovered precinct results reveal.

The news came after state GOP officials found reporting errors in 131 precincts. However, the evaluation of one precinct alone shifted the race by 50 votes, the Des Moines Register reported. State officials have acknowledged the shift and certified Santorum's new lead, CNN reported.

The discovery trumps previous reports that Romney pulled off a slim .1 percent victory over Santorum in Iowa. The new certified numbers show that Santorum received 29,839 votes to Romney's 29,805. The new results also challenge the former Massachusetts governor's front-runner status in the GOP Race.

Romney used his Iowa momentum to win the New Hampshire primary and to initially climb the South Carolina polls.

News of the Iowa caucus come amid polls showing Romney is losing momentum in South Carolina.

A NBC News/Marist poll shows that Romney only has a 10-point lead (2 percentage point margin of error) over his closest contender, Newt Gingrich (34 percent to 24 percent), in the state. A Politico poll shows his South Carolina lead may be slimmer than 10 percent. It shows the Massachusetts governor holds a narrow seven percent lead (30 percent to 37 percent) over Gingrich.

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Santorum's Communications Director Hogan Gidley said in a statement emailed to reporters, "The narrative that Governor Romney and the media have been touting of 'inevitability' has been destroyed."

Gidley said that South Caroline conservatives now have an excuse to take a renewed look at the other candidates.

"Conservatives can now see and believe they don't have to settle for Romney, the Establishment's moderate candidate," he said. "There is a consistent conservative alternative . . . That candidate is Rick Santorum."

Santorum, a proven social conservative candidate, has already received a boost from Christian conservative leaders. Evangelical leaders endorsed Santorum over the weekend as the candidate that best reflects social conservative values.

South Carolina is a Christian conservative state. Pew surveys show that 40 to 50 percent of South Carolina residents identify themselves as a part of the evangelical Protestant tradition. The state also voted for Republican candidates in the past eight general elections.

Santorum will not get a delegate boost from the new Iowa results, however. Iowa GOP officials told the Des Moines Register that they will treat the new results as a "split decision."

Nick Ryan, head of the pro-Santorum Red White & Blue Fund super PAC, criticized the Iowa GOP's decision. He told Politico, "They look like keystone cops ... Romney wins by 8 and nothing will change. Final count shows Santorum wins by 34 and it's a tie?"

 

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