COLUMBIA, S.C.- The old adage, 'Better late than never' would suitably fit the scenario GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum now finds himself in on the eve of the South Carolina primary.

Weeks after the January 3rd Iowa Caucuses and after they announced rival Mitt Romney as the apparent winner by 8 votes, the Iowa Republican party sent out an email late Friday affirming that the former Pennsylvania senator was the new victor of the first in the nation vote.

"In order to clarify conflicting reports and to affirm the results released January 18 by the Republican Party of Iowa, Chairman Matthew Strawn and the State Central Committee declared Senator Rick Santorum the winner of the 2012 Iowa Caucus," the Iowa GOP statement reads.

Earlier this week Santorum was shown to have a 34 vote lead over Romney after the certification process of the caucuses vote tally, essentially a process that involved a recount of the GOP ballots. Initially, the Iowa GOP essentially labeled it a virtual tie.

While campaigning in South Carolina Friday, Romney for the first time acknowledged Iowa as a "defeat."