Republican presidential candidate

Republican race narrows, shifts

Rick Santorum edged front-runner Mitt Romney by 34 votes in a surprise flip to the final results of the Iowa caucuses, Republican officials said Thursday, but no winner was declared because some votes remain missing in the event’s closest finish ever.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Rick Santorum edged front-runner Mitt Romney by 34 votes in a surprise flip to the final results of the Iowa caucuses, Republican officials said Thursday, but no winner was declared because some votes remain missing in the event’s closest finish ever.

Romney had initially been considered the winner — by just 8 votes — of the first contest in the Republican presidential nomination contest.

Iowa Republican Chairman Matt Strawn announced the certified totals for the Jan. 3 caucuses at a news conference, but didn’t name an official winner because some votes can’t be counted. Results from 8 of the state’s 1,774 precincts are missing.

“Just as I did on the early morning hours on Jan. 4, I congratulate Sen. Santorum and Gov. Romney on a hard-fought effort during the closest contest in caucus history,” Strawn said.

The certified results: Santorum with 29,839 votes and Romney at 29,805, a difference of 34. Ron Paul finished third with 26,036.

The new numbers could give a boost to Santorum and other candidates trying to undermine Romney’s dominance over the field as South Carolina primary voters go to the polls Saturday.

The field narrowed further Thursday as Republican officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid pre-empting the announcement said Texas Gov. Rick Perry was abandoning his Republican presidential bid and endorsing Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House of Representatives.

In a statement, Romney called the Iowa results a “virtual tie.” The former Massachusetts governor praised Santorum’s “strong performance” in the state.

Santorum was quick to claim the Iowa victory, saying in a fundraising email that “the incredible news” makes the score for Romney and himself 1-1. Romney followed Iowa with a strong win in New Hampshire.

The third contest, South Carolina’s primary, is Saturday.

Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator, and other Republican candidates are competing to attract voters seeking a more conservative alternative to Romney.

The Des Moines Register first reported the certified caucus totals on Thursday.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Quebec to seek consensus on offering medical aid in dying to mentally ill

MONTREAL — Quebec on Monday walked back a plan to offer medical… Continue reading

GOP defends Trump as Bolton book adds pressure for witnesses

WASHINGTON — Senators faced mounting pressure Monday to summon John Bolton to… Continue reading

Venezuelan opposition leader meets Champagne, Trudeau as part of world tour

OTTAWA — Canada wants to “reinvigorate” the effort to bring democracy to… Continue reading

Quebec mosque shooter Alexandre Bissonnette seeks reduced sentence

QUEBEC — A lawyer representing convicted Quebec City mosque shooter Alexandre Bissonnette… Continue reading

Quebec police find bodies of two of four missing French snowmobilers

ST-HENRI-DE-TAILLON, Que. — A Quebec provincial police search-and-rescue team retrieved the bodies… Continue reading

Country music fans enjoy free concert at Red Deer mall, ahead of ACMA awards

Fans like to get up close and personal and that’s exactly what… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Feb. 1 A Jump Rope Competition will be held at the Abbey… Continue reading

Quebec to seek consensus on offering medical aid in dying to mentally ill

MONTREAL — Quebec on Monday walked back a plan to offer medical… Continue reading

GOP defends Trump as Bolton book adds pressure for witnesses

WASHINGTON — Senators faced mounting pressure Monday to summon John Bolton to… Continue reading

Venezuelan opposition leader meets Champagne, Trudeau as part of world tour

OTTAWA — Canada wants to “reinvigorate” the effort to bring democracy to… Continue reading

Quebec mosque shooter Alexandre Bissonnette seeks reduced sentence

QUEBEC — A lawyer representing convicted Quebec City mosque shooter Alexandre Bissonnette… Continue reading

Quebec police find bodies of two of four missing French snowmobilers

ST-HENRI-DE-TAILLON, Que. — A Quebec provincial police search-and-rescue team retrieved the bodies… Continue reading

Leaders pay tribute, MPs call for justice for Canadians who died on Flight PS752

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has paid tribute in the House… Continue reading

Psychiatrist assessed Desmond as ‘pleasant … a proud father’ days before killings

GUYSBOROUGH, N.S. — Two days before former soldier Lionel Desmond used a… Continue reading

Most Read