Iowa Democratic party announces partial results with former South Bend mayor trailed closely by Bernie Sanders.
Pete Buttigieg, the previously little-known former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, held a narrow lead in the Iowa caucuses on Tuesday night, according to a partial release of a majority of the results by the state Democratic party a day after an embarrassing organizational breakdown that marred the biggest night of the election year so far.
With 71% of the precincts reporting from all of Iowa’s 99 counties, Buttigieg held 26.8% of the state’s delegate count, trailed closely by the Vermont senator Bernie Sanders with 25.2%, the Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren with 18.4% and the former vice-president Joe Biden falling well behind with 15.4%. Sanders, meanwhile, had so far earned the largest share of total votes cast.
However, clouded by doubts and uncertainty, the result could change as additional precincts report.
“We know this data is accurate and we also have a paper trail,” Troy Price, chair of the Iowa Democratic party, said at a press conference in Des Moines. “We have been working day and night to make sure these results are accurate.”
The party initially released results from 62% of precincts, before tricking out a few more figures late on Tuesday night.
He declined to answer questions about when the state party would release the remainder of the results.
The early tally reflects Buttigieg’s remarkable rise from little-known mayor of a midsize midwestern city to a top-tier presidential candidate. Immediately after the initial numbers were released, the 38-year-old gay candidate declared it an “astonishing victory” for a campaign that has already defied long odds.
“A campaign that started a year ago with four staff members, no name recognition, no money – just a big idea – a campaign that some said should have no business even making this attempt, has taken its place at the front of this race to replace the president with a better vision,” Buttigieg said at a campaign event in Laconia, New Hampshire.