The Mistake That is Iowa: Santorum Beats Romney………Maybe

Bookmark and Share   Up to now, Iowa’s erroneous Caucus results created a narrative that allowed Mitt Romney to be the first non-incumbent Republican presidential candidate to win both the Iowa Caucus and the New Hampshire Primary.  The distinction really did not mean much.  Both New Hampshire and Iowa award delegates on a proportional basis and neither actually determine who the nominee is.  However the public perception of two seeming back to back victories for Mitt Romney had a profound effect on the perception shaping the ongoing nomination contests.  Romney’s strong showing and one time 8 vote victory in Iowa along with his landslide win in New Hampshire, helped to establish him, at least psychologically, as the inevitable Republican presidential nominee.  In turn, that perception gave Mitt a leg up on his opponents by denying them, at least some  momentum and money.

Now it comes out that in an attempt to certify the Iowa Caucus results,  there are 34  more votes for Rick Santorum than Mitt Romney which can be accounted for.

The problem is that there is unknown number of votes from 8 different voting precincts which can’t be accounted for.

This has forced the Iowa G.O.P. to formally declare the Caucus a virtual tie between Romney and Santorum.

However, in his never ending attempt to capitalize on what his undeniably overwhelming finish in Iowa, Rick Santorum is focussing in on the the votes which can be accounted for and give him a technical victory in the Hawkeye State.  Upon the newly unofficial certification of the election results, Santorum released the following email to supporters;

As I stated, between the closeness of the Iowa Caucus and the proportional basis which Iowa awards delegates, makes who won by a handful of votes not very important.  And seeing as how Santorum achieved such a close result by spending hardly any money in the state and still going from the bottom of the pack to the front of the field, Santorum was the real winner regardless of who technically won.  But the perceptions created by the mishandling of the caucus results did have an undue, albeit minimal effect on history and the early stages of the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

That fact makes it clear that there was one real big, undeniable, loser here.  it was the Iowa State Republican Party.

Their inability to properly oversee the most basic aspect of our democratic process is a embarrassing blemish that makes one wonder how much we should rely upon their Party Caucus when it comes to selecting a presidential nominee.  If these people can’t even count accurately, I am not too confident in their ability to pick presidents.

Perhaps Jon Huntsman was right when he said that Iowa picks corn while other states pick Presidents.

No matter what, this tabulating error was an inauspicious way to kick off the 2012 presidential election cycle and conjures up fears of another chad-ridden, presidential election in 2000, a repeat of which our troubled nation truly does not need.

Thanks Iowa.

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