Santorum Edges Romney in New Iowa Count

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Rick Santorum edged front-runner Mitt Romney by 34 votes in a surprise twist to the final results of the Iowa caucuses.

The Republican Party of Iowa released the official tally Thursday from the Jan. 3 caucuses.

That night, Romney was declared the winner by just eight votes, the closest outcome in the event's history.

However on Thursday, the GOP said Santorum won 34 more votes than Romney, but there's still a problem with the final vote count.

The Iowa GOP is not officially declaring Santorum the winner because votes from eight of the state's 1,774 precincts are still missing.

"Just as I did on the early morning hours on Jan. 4, I congratulate Sen. Santorum and Gov. Romney on a hard-fought effort during the closest contest in caucus history," Iowa GOP Chairman Matt Strawn said.

The certified results: Santorum with 29,839 votes and Romney at 29,805, a difference of 34. Ron Paul finished third with 26,036.

In a statement, Romney called it a "virtual tie." The former Massachusetts governor praised Santorum's "strong performance" in the state.

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