Pete Buttigieg leads partial Iowa caucus results following delay


Former Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks to supporters after the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 3 in Des Moines.

Jake Webster

Pete Buttigieg leads early results of the 2020 Iowa Democratic caucuses following the Iowa Democratic Party’s (IDP) release of 62 percent of precinct results after unprecedented delays

Speaking at a press conference broadcast live from Des Moines, the IDP Chair Troy Price said just before 4 p.m. Tuesday results from 62 percent of precincts from all 99 Iowa counties would be released in “just a couple of minutes.”

Shortly after Price’s press conference, the partial results appeared on the IDP’s results webpage at

While Buttigieg leads with more state delegate equivalents (SDE) than his closest opponent, Bernie Sanders, the Vermont senator led Buttigieg in the popular vote according to the partial results as of 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Buttigieg had 363 SDEs to Sanders’ 338, while Sanders led Buttigieg in the first preference votes by 27,088 to 23,666 and in final preference votes by 28,220 to 27,030, according to the IDP results page.

The former South Bend, Ind. mayor had seemingly declared victory on caucus night.

“[B]y all indications we are going on to New Hampshire victorious,” Buttigieg said to supporters in Des Moines late Monday.

No official results had been released at that point, though major campaigns kept track of results in precincts around the state and released partial internal campaign data of results throughout Monday night and Tuesday.

Should Buttigieg prevail in the caucuses, he would be the first openly gay person in American history to win a state presidential nominating contest.

A Sanders campaign adviser, Jeff Weaver, released a brief statement in the wake of the release of partial results by the IDP.

“We want to thank the people of Iowa,” Weaver said in the statement. “We are gratified that in the partial data released so far it’s clear that in the first round and second round more people voted for Bernie than any other candidate in the field.”

Elizabeth Warren trailed the top two candidates in the two rounds of preferences votes and in SDEs. Following Warren were Joe Biden in fourth and Amy Klobuchar in fifth.

In Story County, with about 65 percent of precincts reporting, Sanders led Warren with roughly 31 percent of SDEs to Warren’s roughly 25 percent.