After a dramatic night full of lead changes and close vote counts, Mitt Romney was declared the official winner of the 2012 Iowa Republican Caucus.
One precinct’s votes remained unreported for hours before Iowa Republican Party Chairman Matt Strawn declared a winner.
The announcement came just after 1:30 a.m. Central time Wednesday, January 4, 2012.
Strawn said the total turnout for the caucus set a new record, with 122,255 ballots cast at 1,770 precincts statewide.
Romney was declared the winner when Strawn announced the vote totals.
Romney received 30,015 votes in the Iowa caucus. Rick Santorum received 30,007 votes.
Several lead changes and close vote counts kept the Iowa caucus results anyone’s guess all the way through the evening.
More men than women voted at the caucuses this time around. Most of the votes were in the 45 to 64 years age group.
Iowa has 28 total delegates to the Republican National Convention and 25 were reportedly tied to the January 3 caucuses.
Fewer than 100 votes separated leaders Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney for much of the evening. The men each held the statewide lead at least five times before all of the votes were counted. At one point, the difference was only one vote.
Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney were each expected to receive six Iowa delegates.
According to iowacaucus.com, one precinct in Clinton County had not yet reported at 12:45 a.m. Wednesday. With the margin so close, that was enough to delay calling a definite winner.
Some reports indicated the document needed from that precinct was missing. That’s when party leaders took action, confirming the count with caucus officials and with the candidates prior to Strawn’s announcement.
Here are results for counties in our viewing area:
Cedar County – Ron Paul won Cedar County with 26% of the votes cast, taking 188 total votes in Cedar County. Rick Santorum took a close second place with 167 votes, and Mitt Romney was right behind him with 165 votes received. Newt Gingrich got 84 votes, Rick Perry got 67 votes, Michele Bachmann got 34 votes and Jon Huntsman got four votes in Cedar County.
Clinton County – With all but one precinct reporting in Clinton County, Mitt Romney was the projected winner in there with 31% or 386 votes. Rick Santorum followed with 321 votes, Ron Paul had 262 votes, Newt Gingrich had 139 votes, Rick Perry had 61 votes, Michele Bachmann had 59 votes and Jon Huntsman had eight votes.
In an interview with CNN, Clinton County GOP Chairwoman Edith Pfeffer said her records showed Romney received 437 votes in Clinton County. Santorum got 354 votes, Paul got 292 votes, Gingrich got 151 votes, Perry got 73 votes, Bachmann got 62 votes, Huntsman received 12 votes and five ballots were cast for Herman Cain.
Des Moines County – Rick Santorum won Des Moines County with 388 votes, or 29%. Mitt Romney took second place with 308 votes, Ron Paul received 260 votes, Newt Gingrich received 187 votes, Rick Perry got 121 votes and Michele Bachmann received 79 votes. Jon Huntsman received no votes in Des Moines County.
Henry County – Rick Santorum won Henry County with 227, or 31%, of the caucus votes cast there. Mitt Romney followed with 170 votes, Ron Paul received 147 votes, Newt Gingrich received 97 votes, Rick Perry got 55 votes and Michele Bachmann got 43 votes. Jon Huntsman received no votes in Henry County.
Jackson County – Ron Paul won Jackson County with 30% or 163 votes. Mitt Romney had 139 votes, Rick Santorum had 92 votes, Newt Gingrich had 90 votes, Rick Perry had 43 votes, Michele Bachmann had 16 votes and Jon Huntsman had two votes.
Louisa County – Ron Paul and Rick Santorum tied for the win in Louisa County with 87 votes, or 23% of the vote, apiece. They were followed by Newt Gingrich with 73 votes, Mitt Romney with 67 votes, Rick Perry with 41 votes and Michele Bachmann with 16 votes. Jon Huntsman received no votes in Louisa County.
Muscatine County – Mitt Romney won in Muscatine County with 345, or 29% of the votes. Ron Paul had 255 votes with Rick Santorum close behind with 243 votes. Newt Gingrich had received 171 votes, Rick Perry had 129 votes, Michele Bachmann had 49 votes and Jon Huntsman received ten votes.
Scott County – Mitt Romney took Scott County with 34% or 2,005 votes. Rick Santorum had 1,444 votes, Ron Paul had 1,168 votes, Newt Gingrich had 834 votes, Rick Perry had 279 votes, Michele Bachmann had 164 votes and Jon Huntsman had 49 votes.
For complete statewide and county-by-county results of the Iowa caucuses, click here.
(results assistance from CNN and iowacaucus.com)