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Carolyn and Edith: Unlikely stars of CNN’s Iowa caucus coverage

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(CNN)

If you weren't watching CNN at 3:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday, you missed the best moment of the 2012 Iowa caucuses.

No, not the news that Mitt Romney edged Rick Santorum by a mere eight votes in the first contest of the 2012 Republican presidential race. We're talking about Edith Pfeffer and Carolyn Tallett, two Clinton County, Iowa, women who played a crucial role in figuring out the final tally for CNN.

When it became clear that the razor-thin vote hinged on getting an accurate vote total from Clinton County, CNN's producers tracked down Pfeffer, chairwoman of Clinton County's Republican Central Committee, who then woke up Tallet, the president of the Clinton County Republican Women's Club. Both appeared on the phone with CNN's Wolf Blitzer and John King to sort the whole thing out.

The result was late-night television gold.

"Whaddaya mean the numbers don't match?" Pfeffer stammered at King, who was explaining a discrepancy to viewers using CNN's "Magic Wall."

It wasn't long before "Edith and Carolyn" were trending topics on Twitter.

After Romney was declared the winner, the women rejoined CNN to do what very few political reporters were able to do last night: explain how they were able to size up the winner of the hard-fought caucus vote.

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