The Iowa Democratic Party announced the final result of Monday’s caucuses on Thursday night, indicating that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) had won the most votes, but that former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg had won the most “state delegate equivalents” — by a slim 564-562 margin.
Sanders and Buttigieg will receive the same number of delegates to the Democratic National Convention.
United Press International reported:
Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., garnered 26.20 percent of state delegate equivalents, while Sen. Sanders of Vermont received 26.13 percent, resulting in a virtual tie that awarded both candidates 11 delegates. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren received 18 percent and five delegates, former Vice President Joe Biden received 15. 8 percent and two delegates and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar received 12.3 percent and one delegate.
However, as the New York Times tally noted, Sanders had a significant advantage in the popular vote — both in the “first alignment” and the final vote tally after the “second alignment,” when voters whose candidates failed to reach 15% in their precincts on the first vote could choose another candidate.
Sanders won over 6,000 more votes than Buttigieg in the first vote, and over 2,500 more in the final vote.
The Associated Press refused to call a winner, citing the confusing and contradictory results, which had been delayed by the failure of an app the state’s Democrats had used to collect data from precincts.
On Monday, Buttigieg declared victory — prematurely, but perhaps accurately. On Thursday, Sanders said he was the winner, given his wide lead (3.5%) on the first ballot. Some observers agreed with him:
AP says it cannot declare winner in Iowa Democratic caucus, based on arcane SDE calculations. But with 99% reporting, Sanders has 6,114-vote (3.5 percentage point) lead in first vote, 2,631-vote (1.6 point) lead in second vote. Neither is too close to call. Sanders won. pic.twitter.com/mXKwgb1OMb
— Byron York (@ByronYork) February 7, 2020
Sanders supporters have been increasingly vocal in accusing the party of rigging the vote against him. In a statement Thursday night, the Sanders campaign disputed the final delegate count and stated that given the discrepancies, the true winner in terms of delegates “will never be known with any kind of certainty.”
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.