Maybe Mitt Romney Didn't Win Iowa

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

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A Iowa caucus goer claims the Republican Party's vote totals were off by 20 votes in favor of Mitt Romney, a error that if fixed would be enough to swing the final tally to Rick Santorum. Edward True says he helped to count the votes at the tiny 53-person caucus in Moulton, Iowa, and claims that Romney got just two votes. But when he checked the state party's website later, they credited Romney with 22 votes in Moulton. Since Romney was declared the winner by just 8 votes, that mistake would have been enough to the swing the state in his favor.

GOP officials say 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 claims that he was told by party officials that there was a different 21-vote discrepancy in his favor, meaning the final vote tally is only off by one.

In either case, it doesn't really matter  — unless maybe you had money riding on it — because winning or losing is not the point. The fact that Santorum could have beaten Romney is all any one cares about at the moment. Eight more votes won't change the outcome 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 primary conspiracy theories, knock yourself out.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.