COLUMBIA, S.C.-- Mitt Romney released a statement early Thursday morning after the news broke that the Iowa certification results of the Republican caucuses showed Rick Santorum up by 34 votes. Romney was initially thought to have a Hawkeye state victory with a tiny margin of 8 votes on January 3rd.

" The results from Iowa caucus night revealed a virtual tie. I would like to thank the Iowa Republican Party for their careful attention to the caucus process, and we once again recognize Rick Santorum for his strong performace in the state. The Iowa caucuses, with record turnout, were a great start to defeating President Obama in Iowa and elsewhere in the general election."- Mitt Romney.

The Iowa GOP say it is too difficult to determine who actually won, and calls the outcome a " split decision" because results from eight precincts are missing, which may have given Romney the edge.