'Missing Precinct' Votes Found In Wee Hours To Flip Iowa Win To Romney

Craig Bannister
By Craig Bannister | January 4, 2012 | 1:10 PM EST

In the 2AM hour on Wednesday morning, CNN was reporting Rick Santorum leading Mitt Romney in the Iowa caucus - until two local GOP officials called in with the results of a "missing precinct" that flipped the results to a narrow win for Romney.

The results from the missing "2, 2" precinct (second ward, second precinct) of Clinton County, Iowa "were called in at 7:48PM this evening,” Iowa GOP Chairwoman Edith Pfeffer insisted to CNN host Wolf Blitzer.

But – nearly five hours later - the precinct's votes were still not included in the state totals reported to networks by the Iowa GOP committee.

"I received a call at about 12:20 (AM) from the state central committee" trying to locate the missing precinct's results, Carolyn Tallett, chairwoman for 3, 1 precinct told CNN.

After failing to reach Clinton County, Iowa GOP Chairwoman Edith Pfeffer by phone, Tallett went to Pfeffer’s home and banged on the door.

"I came to Edith’s home and pounded on the door and woke her up and got her up," Tallett recalls.

Tallett then read to CNN the results from the missing "2, 2" precinct:  “Mitt Romney won with 51 votes; Rick Santorum and Ron Paul tied, with 33 votes each.”

The 18-vote margin was enough to push Romney past Santorum to a narrow, eight vote win in Iowa.

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