South Bend, Ind., mayor Pete Buttigieg declared victory following the Iowa caucuses debacle on Monday, despite the fact that the state party had reported no official numbers.
Iowa, you have shocked the nation.
By all indications, we are going on to New Hampshire victorious. #IowaCaucuses
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) February 4, 2020
Taking the stage at Drake University in Des Moines, Buttigieg projected victory to his cheering supporters.
“What a night,” he said. “”Because tonight, an improbable hope became an undeniable reality.”
Buttigieg’s campaign prefaced the announcement by tweeting unofficial and partial precinct results, and Buttigieg caveated that “we don’t know all the results.”
Caucus numbers in Iowa, which for the first time were supposed to include three sets of results, were still unreported Tuesday morning, with the state party saying that there were “inconsistencies” in the collecting of results, stemming from “technical issues” related to a failed app which caucus chairs were supposed to use for the first time in history to report their numbers.
The discrepancies did not stop Buttigieg from making his case. “We know, by the time it’s all said and done, Iowa, you have shocked the nation,” Buttigieg told the crowd.
“Incredible night, incredible result, and such phenomenal energy here. We are headed to New Hampshire victorious,” the mayor said off-stage in a video released by his campaign.
Buttigieg also defended his victory declaration to Morning Joe on Tuesday, saying that while the campaign had not received any official indications from the state party, “we were looking at the internal numbers that we had and beginning to realize that something extraordinary had happened last night.”
The mayor also tried to distance his campaign from accusations that they were spreading misinformation.
“The thing about this, unlike a primary where there is a secret ballot, this is folks standing in a room for all to see with their neighbors right there, often with the press right there, and with our own observers there,” Buttigieg said. “So that made it possible for us to get a very clear sense of just how extraordinary of a night it is.”
.@WillieGeist asks Pete Buttigieg about the basis for his victory declaration:
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) February 4, 2020
Internal campaign data released by Bernie Sanders showed the Vermont Senator winning with 29.66 percent of the vote in close to 40 percent of precincts, while Buttigieg came in second at 24.59 percent.
Sanders himself has not yet declared victory, but his campaign said it had no choice but to release its data to counter Buttigieg.