In a reversal of earlier reported results, the final vote certification process in Iowa has shown that former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum received 34 more votes than rival Mitt Romney.
Party officials found inaccurate counts in 131 Iowa precincts, leading to a revised tally showing Santorum, with 29,839 votes, ahead of Romney, who received 29,805 votes. Initial, but uncertified, results immediately following the Caucus had Romney the victor by 8 votes.
However, results from eight precincts are missing and will not be counted, so the ultimate tally remains inconclusive.
The news comes at a pivotal moment, two days before the South Carolina primary, which is often a proving ground for the eventual GOP nominee.
UPDATE, January 21: The Iowa Republican Party has officially declared Santorum the winner of the 2012 caucuses.