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Buttigieg Leading Iowa Caucus with 62 Percent of Results Reported

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg addresses supporters at a rally at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, February 3, 2020. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg holds a slight lead over Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders in the Iowa caucuses with 62 percent of precincts reporting, after the state Democratic Party released partial results Tuesday afternoon following an unprecedented delay.

The former South Bend, Ind. mayor leads in state delegates at 26.9 percent, with Sanders in second place at 25.1 percent. Sanders, however, leads in the popular vote.

Senator Elizabeth Warren came in third at 18.3 percent, while former vice president Joe Biden, the national frontrunner until recently, took fourth place at 15.6 percent. Senator Amy Klobuchar garnered 12.6 percent support, tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang 1.1 percent, and billionaire philanthropist Tom Steyer 0.3 percent.

Results from 38 percent of precincts have still not been released.

Buttigieg declared victory Monday night before the officials results were released.

“We don’t know all the results,” Buttigieg told supporters in his speech claiming a win. “But we know, by the time it’s all said and done, Iowa, you have shocked the nation, because by all indications, we are going on to New Hampshire victorious.”

The New Hampshire primary will take place Tuesday of next week.

Sanders’s campaign celebrated his popular vote victory, saying in a statement, “We are gratified that in the partial data released so far it’s clear that in the first and second round more people voted for Bernie than any other candidate in the field.”

Sanders earned 28,220 votes to Buttigieg’s 27,030 votes.

The Iowa caucus was plagued by “inconsistencies” in reporting from local precincts as well as a glitch in the new smartphone app the state party was using to report results. The process was thrown in to disarray after the app failed and precinct managers tied up phone lines in their attempts to call state party officials to report results, only to be placed on hold for hours. Partial results were released almost a full day later on Tuesday evening.

The problematic app was designed by Shadow, Inc., which was founded by Gerard Niemira and Krista Davis, both of whom worked on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.

The Iowa Democratic Party apologized for the chaotic process at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

“The reporting of the results and circumstances surrounding the 2020 Iowa Democratic Party caucuses were unacceptable. As chair of the party I apologize deeply for this,” Iowa Democrats chair Troy Price said.

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