The Iowa Democratic Party has continued to dump new results into the stream since Tuesday afternoon, now with 97 percent of precincts reported, we’re left with a virtual tie between Sen. Benier Sanders and former South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg. At the moment, just about 500 votes separate Buttigieg and Sanders, which will end up being a difference of somewhere around three or four delegates in the end, not a make-or-break scenario for either candidate. Further down the line, however, Joe Biden continues bringing up the fourth place spot behind Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a very disappointing position for the former vice president.
Here are the latest numbers which will continue updating live as new data is released. According to the Iowa Democratic Party, the full results are expected sometime later this morning, though it’s not clear when a winner will be declared:
The race in Iowa remains a stunner for Buttigieg, who seemed to suck all the oxygen in the room from Biden during the caucus process. It’s also stunning that Biden, for the immensity and opportunity afforded to him in Iowa with most of his opponents locked up in Washington for the impeachment trial, didn’t capture more than 16 percent of the vote.
As the AP reports, the race is still too close to call until all 100% of the precincts have been accounted for and everything is certified by the Iowa Democratic Party, which could be days:
New results from the Iowa Democratic caucuses show Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders nearly tied with almost all the votes counted.
But the race remained too early to call early Thursday with 97% of precincts reporting.
Party officials were scrambling to verify the remaining results three days after Iowans gathered at caucus sites across the state to begin choosing which Democrat will take on President Donald Trump in November.
Buttigieg has a lead over Sanders of three state delegate equivalents out of 2,098 counted.
The deadlocked contest gave both a burst of momentum as they seek to pull away from the crowded field.
If this result holds, and Sanders loses out by a handful of delegates, it will mirror the result of 2016 where Hillary Clinton took two more delegates and “won” the caucus. Buttigieg might end up the victor this time around, but neither campaign will see themselves as losing in this scenario when the caucus results were so badly botched on caucus night. It’s entirely arguable, and plausible, that with such a small difference separating the two, that the botched caucus rules and confused caucus attendees really make these results a win for both candidates.
If Buttigieg does hold out to claim the top spot, it will be a testament to his campaigning in Iowa and his dedication to the race. Polls leading up to the caucuses showed him sitting behind Sanders and Biden, tied closely with Elizabeth warren. Clearly Buttigieg over-performed his polls, likely at the expense of Biden when it came down to voters actually making a commitment.