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Everyone a winner, or loser, in Iowa miscounts

Nobody showed any interest in recounts after the photo-finish end to the Iowa caucuses last Tuesday when a final tally showed Mitt Romney beating Rick Santorum by just eight votes of the 122,000 cast.

Never mind that the scope for error in the caucus process, with voters scribbling names on scraps of paper, was substantial.

Then came the report from an Iowa TV station on Thursday that in one of the local precincts the number of votes attributed to Mr Romney, pictured, had been misreported. A supporter of Ron Paul, who helped in the counting in the Appanoose County precinct, told the station that Mr Romney had scored only two votes but was somehow awarded 22. Deduct the 20 he didn't really get and Mr Santorum would have won.

The state Republican party has said it is looking into what happened but in the meantime thinks it might have found another place where miscounting happened but where Mr Santorum appears to have been the beneficiary. That might explain why the latter was playing down the affair yesterday. "That really doesn't matter to me," he said. "This was a tie."