Race remains tight between Buttigieg and Sanders days after Iowa caucuses


Former Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Bernie Sanders are in a close race for victory in Iowa’s caucuses after partial results were released Feb. 5.

Jake Webster

Pete Buttigieg maintains a narrow lead in the Iowa caucuses following days of delays in reporting results by the Iowa Democratic Party (IDP).

More than 48 hours after doors closed at caucus sites across Iowa, the IDP has not finished releasing caucus results. The IDP Chair Troy Price said in a statement early Tuesday the delays followed “inconsistencies” in the reporting of results from caucus sites.

“As precinct caucus results started coming in, the IDP ran them through an accuracy and quality check. It became clear that there were inconsistencies with the reports. The underlying cause of these inconsistencies was not immediately clear and required investigation, which took time,” Price said in the statement. “As this investigation unfolded, IDP staff activated pre-planned backup measures and entered data manually. This took longer than expected.”

Price later apologized in a press conference Tuesday afternoon for the delay in results and called the circumstances surrounding them “unacceptable.”

With partial results, Buttigieg leads Bernie Sanders in state delegate equivalents (SDE) by a margin of 26.5 percent to 25.6 percent of SDEs according to the IDP’s website as of 9 p.m. Wednesday. Trailing in third is Elizabeth Warren with 18.3 percent of SDEs, Joe Biden with 15.9 percent of SDEs and Amy Klobuchar with 12.1 percent of SDEs. No other candidate has more than 1 percent of SDEs with 92 percent of precincts reporting statewide.

Despite Buttigieg’s lead in SDEs, Sanders leads Buttigieg in first and final preferences, effectively a popular vote. Sanders leads Buttigieg by 2.9 percent in first preferences among Iowa caucusgoers and 0.7 percent among final preferences among caucusgoers.

The Sanders campaign sent an email to supporters late Wednesday that said the campaign is “confident” that when more results are released, the Vermont senator will maintain a lead in the popular vote and retake the lead in SDEs and national delegate equivalents.

In Story County, Sanders maintains a lead over Warren of about 31 percent of SDEs to Warren’s 25 percent with about 81 percent of precincts reporting.