Iowa Republicans to call caucus result split decision

Reuters News
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Posted: Jan 19, 2012 6:53 AM
Iowa Republicans to call caucus result split decision

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Iowa Republican Party will certify this month's presidential caucuses as a split decision between former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, citing missing data from eight precincts, the Des Moines Register reported on Thursday.

The party had previously awarded the contest to Romney, with an eight vote margin. The official certified caucus results are due out Thursday at 8:15 a.m. local time (1415 GMT).

The Register said the new count put Santorum ahead by 34 votes. However, results from any one of the eight precincts with "missing data" could hold an advantage for Romney, the Register reported.

"It's a split decision," the newspaper said, citing a party official in the state. There are too many holes in the certified total from the caucuses to know for certain who won, it said.

GOP officials discovered inaccuracies in 131 precincts, although not all the changes affected Romney or Santorum, the newspaper reported.

(Editing by Todd Eastham)