Did Rick Santorum Actually Win The Iowa Caucuses?

Jan 7, 2012 6:01pm

MANCHESTER, N.H. — A voter in a small southern Iowa county is claiming that an errant number “2″ typed by an official with the state Republican Party may have cost Rick Santorum a win in the Iowa caucuses.

But it may not matter at all.

Edward True, a resident of Appanoose County, filed an affidavit swearing that he personally observed vote counters in his precinct record two votes for Mitt Romney rather than the 22 reported by the Iowa GOP.

“I don’t think — I know for a certainty,” True said in an interview on Saturday with ABC News, “and my numbers have been confirmed by the precinct captain and the county chair as well.”

And the Republican county chairman, Lyle Brinegar, backed up True’s contention, telling the Des Moines Register that he was not disputing the two-vote figure for Romney.

“We stand by the figures that were presented by the Moulton precinct caucus,” Brinegar told the newspaper in a recent interview.

True, a supporter of presidential candidate Ron Paul, said that even though the incorrect count “could have been an honest mistake,” he wanted to correct the record.

The self-employed handyman who lives in Moulton, Iowa watched precinct officials tally the ballots at the public library where he caucused on Tuesday night. True scrawled the vote totals on a piece of paper and wrote down two votes for Romney and 21 votes for Santorum.

(True posted photos of his affidavit and the piece of scratch paper he used to record the vote on his Facebook page.)

In the end, Romney prevailed over Santorum statewide by just eight votes out of the more than 122,000 cast. Representatives from both campaigns said they were awaiting official results from the Iowa Republican Party.

“Whether it’s eight votes or 80 votes, 2 votes or 20 votes, we consider it a win in Iowa,” said a top Santorum adviser Hogan Gidley.

Iowa GOP Chairman Matt Strawn declined to comment on the specific precinct vote total, but said in an interview with ABC News that “the result of Appanoose will not change the outcome of Tuesday’s vote.”

ABC News has learned that Republican officials in that county, which has a population of just over 12,000, have submitted all of the required paperwork to the state party as they work to certify the results, which could take up to two weeks but could also be completed sooner.

Strawn would not go beyond a statement he released earlier this week in which said he would “not respond to every rumor, innuendo or allegation during the two week process.”

You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus