Final Caucus Update: Santorum Wins, Iowa Loses
State GOP clarifies, declares him the official victor
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2012 5:43 AM CST
Rick Santorum speaks at The Citadel Patriots Dinner in Charleston, S.C., Friday.   (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
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(Newser) – Just hours before the polls open in South Carolina, we have what will presumably be the final update of results from Iowa: The state's Republican party last night declared that Rick Santorum was the winner, no ifs, ands, or buts about it, reports CNN. GOP leaders had said Thursday that Santorum edged Romney by eight votes, but their statement left the impression that no clear-cut winner would ever be known. Last night's statement was intended to "clarify" that and give Santorum the official victory (after Romney had been declared the winner on voting night).

Which is all well and good, writes Jason Noble in the Des Moines Register, except for one thing: "Such a muddled result and response threatens the already-contested legitimacy of Iowa’s first-in-the-nation status and underscores the need for reforms to professionalize the voting process," he writes after rounding up reaction. Those who think Iowa and its old-fashioned caucus system have way too much say in the national political discourse will have plenty of ammo next time around.
 

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