Rick Santorum thinks he has a solid shot at winning the Iowa caucuses. No, that sentence was not written two weeks ago.

The former Pennsylvania senator expressed hope the official vote tally in the Hawkeye State, set for release by the end of the week, will show him overcoming an 8-vote deficit behind Mitt Romney to be dubbed the eventual winner.

We may find out today that 'I almost won' may not be an 'almost won,' Santorum said, according to The New York Times.

Romney was declared the winner the night of the Jan. 3 caucuses, with the slimmest of victory margins after the initial count of the roughly 120,000 votes cast. Official tallies from each precinct are due by 5 p.m. on Wednesday.

Though there was no official recount, the process of certifying the final vote count in each precinct acts as a de facto recount.

According to The Washington Examiner, some sources have reported as much as an 80-vote lead for Santorum during the certification process.

A change in the final holder of the winner title would have little consequence in the big picture when the state awards its delegates in the spring. But Romney has been banking on three consecutive primary wins in early states as an express ticket to being crowned the presumptive nominee.

When asked about a potential switch to second place in Iowa, Romney said, I'm not sure that changes much.

During several campaign stops in South Carolina Tuesday, Santorum downplayed any talk of Romney's presumptive status.

This nomination is not going to be decided in two or three states, it's going to be decided over a long primary process, he said. We're optimistic that we can pull out a win here and stop this narrative that this is inevitable.