Did Santorum actually win Iowa?

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Felix Salmon notes (via Taegan Goddard) there’s roughly a one-in-four chance that Rick Santorum actually beat Mitt Romney in Iowa.

“Romney’s margin of victory was 8 votes out of 122,255 cast, or 0.0065%. If you look at a number of recent recounts — Florida Presidential 2000, Ohio Presidential 2004, Washington Gubernatorial 2004, and four recounted Minnesota races in 2008 — the initial error margin in all but Ohio and one of the Minnesota races was greater than that. The Washington race underwent two different recounts, checking for different errors; one of them, and the sum of the two together, exceeded Romney’s victory percentage. The difference between the Florida election night vote count and just the 537 vote certified Bush margin is more than three-and-a-half times Romney’s winning percentage.”

Bottom line: “Santorum didn’t win in Iowa: he came second… But if you just counted the exact same votes all over again, there’s a good chance the result would be different, and Santorum would end up being declared the winner instead.”

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.