The optics of Mitt Romney winning both the Iowa and New Hampshire Caucuses/primaries favors Romney heavily and has led to the general media spin of "Mitt's Inevitable", but while the nation's focus is on South Carolina which holds it's primaries on Saturday, January 21, 2012, many forget the Iowa Republican officials are still certifying and recounting the precinct votes.
Romney supposedly beat Rick Santorum by only eight votes and errors have been found in favor of both Santorum and Romney but the final outcome is due to be announced this week.
Many pundits will claim that the only change that would occur is 'bragging rights" if Santorum ends up the final winner after the tallies are in, but in reality, a win for Santorum in Iowa takes the two-for-two win record away from Romney.
Reports show that the paperwork for 95 of the 99 counties have been submitted and they have until the close of business on Wednesday to get official paperwork to the Iowa Republican Party headquarters in Des Moines.
According to one campaign source, as of Monday, Santorum is actually ahead by 80 votes, The Washington Examiner reports.
The final numbers will be different from those released on caucus night. One campaign source says the vote count as of midday Monday showed Santorum ahead by 80-something votes. If that number holds through certification of the last precincts, Santorum will win. Of course, there is always the possibility that some of the final precincts will contain discrepancies that put Romney back on top. It's just not clear.
Greta Van Susteren is also hearing the word about the 80 vote Santorum lead, from more than one source.
Several sources close to Iowa’s GOP caucus certification process have indicated that Santorum could be ahead by as many as 80 votes.
If Santorum takes the Iowa bragging rights, Romney can only claim to have won New Hampshire and it makes South Carolina even more important in terms of the media push for the Romney inevitability argument.