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Jan 19, 2012 8:06 AM by Kirsten Bennett

GOP officials: Santorum edges Romney in Iowa count

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Republican officials say the final count of the Iowa caucuses puts Rick Santorum ahead of Mitt Romney by 34 votes, but no winner will be declared because votes from eight precincts are missing.

Romney, the front-runner in the race for the GOP presidential nomination, initially had been considered the winner by 8 votes in the event's closest finish ever.

Iowa Republicans are to announce the tally Thursday morning.

Republican officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to pre-empt the announcement , said Santorum would end up with 29,839 votes to Romney's 29,805.

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