DES MOINES - Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad said Monday that former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum may be the winner of the Iowa caucuses, but it won't make that big of a difference overall.

"It's a virtual tie, let's face it," Branstad said at the State Historical Museum, where he was part of the annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration. "He could still be the winner in the certified count, because it's eight votes, so you just don't know."

The Iowa Republican Party rules give the party 14 days after their caucuses to report certified results after the caucus is held. The 14th day is today.

Two weeks ago, Santorum came within eight votes of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who was declared winner in a nail-biter that wasn't called until early Wednesday morning.

The race became more controversial when Ron Paul supporter Edward True of Appanoose County said an error gave Romney 20 more votes than he had earned.

In interview with Politico this weekend in South Carolina, Santorum brought up the certification process as something that might ultimately make him the Iowa GOP caucus winner.

Get news headlines sent daily to your inbox

Branstad said the caucuses helped Santorum's campaign, but he wasn't sure if the certified count results - even if they change the end results - would help him that much.

"Obviously, Santorum got a boost out of it, but he didn't have the wherewithal," Branstad said. "I think he's going to be very competitive in South Carolina, unlike New Hampshire, which was more difficult for him. So, it's not over."