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Current Page: Politics | Friday, February 07, 2020
Buttigieg narrowly leads Sanders in Iowa Democratic caucus as vote tally problems persist

Buttigieg narrowly leads Sanders in Iowa Democratic caucus as vote tally problems persist

Democratic presidential candidate, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg talks to parishioners during Sunday service at the Kenneth Moore Transformation Center October 27, 2019, in Rock Hill, South Carolina. | Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg holds a narrow lead in the Iowa Democratic Caucus, with the full results finally being released following days of technical problems.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Buttigieg narrowly defeated Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. Buttigieg has 26.2 percent of the state delegate equivalents, versus Sanders' 26.1 percent, reported Bloomberg. Sanders, however, won the popular vote.

Third place went to Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., with 18 percent, followed by former Vice President Joe Biden with 15.8 percent, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., with 12.3 percent.

There is still a possibility that a campaign might call for a recanvassing of Iowa due to the widely-reported problems associated with the calculating of the results. 

"What I expect will most definitely happen is that Mr. Buttigieg and I will end up with the same amount of delegates — 11 now, each probably a little bit more," said Sanders about the possibility of calling for a recanvass, as reported by The Washington Examiner

"That's what will happen, ain't going to change, and what certainly is not going to change is the fact that in terms of the popular vote, we won a decisive victory."

Buttigieg celebrated his narrow lead, stating that regardless of what happens next, "nothing can take away what happened on Monday, just an extraordinary moment for the movement that we have built."

On late Tuesday afternoon, the state party released the results of 62 percent of the 1,765 precincts reporting, showing Buttigieg in the lead with 26.9 percent on state delegate equivalents, followed closely by Sanders with 25.1 percent, reported Matt Viser of The Washington Post.

Third place went to Warren, fourth to Biden, and fifth to Klobuchar.

By Thursday morning, with 97 percent of precincts reporting, Buttigieg's lead on Sanders narrowed, with him having 26.2 percent while Sanders had 26.1 percent, according to The Hill. 

Iowa Democratic Party officials delayed announcing the results due to a mixture of technological problems and “inconsistencies” in reporting, in what The Associated Press described as an “embarrassing twist.”

State party spokeswoman Mandy McClure said they encountered “inconsistencies in the reporting of three sets of results,” according to the AP.

The main issue, noted the AP, was that the caucus used a new mobile app meant to report results, however organizers had problems downloading and using it.

The app was developed by Shadow Inc., a Democratic tech firm whose leadership has ties to the 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign that was paid more than $63,000 by the state Democratic Party for the app, The Wall Street Journal reported. 

"Some Democratic campaigns, including those of former Vice President Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg, have used a Shadow-built app to send text messages to supporters and solicit donations, according to federal campaign expense records and people familiar with the matter. The Biden campaign halted its use of that app amid concerns about its reliability," WSJ added. 

Party officials went on to explain that the key problem was a “coding issue” with the app rather than the possibility of hacking. Nevertheless, many expressed displeasure with the delays.

“I think there were some significant failures in the process last night that should give voters concern,” said Biden deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield to CNN.

During a call earlier on Tuesday, the Iowa Democratic Party Chairman told the campaigns that they would have most of the caucus results available by 5 p.m. Eastern time that day.

Even before the results were announced, multiple Democratic candidates claimed victory and shifted their focus to New Hampshire, the first official primary in the election season.  

Days before the caucus, Sanders had achieved his first national lead in the Democratic primary, according to a NBC News/Wall Street Journal national poll.

Released last Friday, the poll gave Sanders 27 percent support, 1 percent higher than the 26 percent of Biden, albeit within the +/- 4.74 percentage point margin of error, reported NBC News.

The same poll had Warren at third place with 15 percent and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in fourth place at 9 percent. 

While the Democratic caucus was rife with uncertainty, President Donald Trump easily won the Republican caucus, getting around 97 percent of the vote.

In the same caucus, former Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh achieved 1.4 percent of GOP voters while former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld garnered 1.2 percent, noted Politico.

Regarding the Democratic caucus and the issues they had getting out the results, Trump took to Twitter to call their process “an unmitigated disaster.”

“Nothing works, just like they ran the Country. Remember the 5 Billion Dollar Obamacare Website, that should have cost 2% of that. The only person that can claim a very big victory in Iowa last night is ‘Trump,’” tweeted the president.

This stands in contrast to the 2016 Republican Iowa Caucus, where Trump came in second with 22 percent to U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who got 34 percent.

The next state competition will be the New Hampshire primary, the first official primary in the nation. It will take place next Tuesday.   

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