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Iowa caucus live updates: Buttigieg, Sanders reach virtual tie with 100 percent of results released

The first-in-the-nation voting state was thrown into disarray late Monday after the Iowa Democratic Party delayed releasing results.

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The Iowa Democratic Party announced the release of 100 percent of the state caucus results Thursday night, showing Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders neck and neck in their lead over the rest of the Democratic candidates. The results could change as more data is examined, and NBC has not called a winner in the race.

The Iowa Democrats' announcement comes after Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez called on state party officials to recanvass the results of Monday's caucuses amid growing concerns about their accuracy (see NBC News' review of the results).

Caucusgoers gathered at nearly 1,700 sites across Iowa on Monday night to tally support for their preferred candidates only for the count to be thrown into disarray when what Iowa Democrats called "inconsistencies" delayed the reporting of results.

The state has 41 pledged delegates up for grabs, and the high-stakes contest traditionally plays a major role in determining who is a legitimate contender in the race. Candidates in the crowded Democratic field needed to meet a threshold of support (at least 15 percent of attendees at most caucus sites) to become viable, or they saw supporters move on to someone else.

Highlights from the Iowa caucuses

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Live Blog

Iowa will test whether Steyer's spending strategy works

DES MOINES, Iowa — With voting set to start in the 2020 Democratic presidential contests, billionaire Tom Steyer is about to face a critical test: whether the prodigious spending that has thus far buoyed his candidacy will win over enough voters to propel it into the next phase of the contest.  

The 62-year-old former hedge fund manager is also sharpening his message, casting himself as an uncompromising progressive in hopes of capitalizing on the distaste and discomfort a distinct coalition of voters feel toward the political establishment. But Steyer, well behind in most polls both nationally and in early voting states, needs to turn out more than just a handful of voters tired of the political system. 

By portraying himself as a leader with experience outside the Beltway, Steyer, in the final sprint through Iowa and other early states, aims to turn out voters who don’t always participate in elections — highlighting his investment in commonly overlooked communities.

Read more here.

Bloomberg: 'No question' that Trump is 'worried about me'

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg says there’s “no question” that President Donald Trump fears running against him in a general election, after a feud between the two New Yorkers escalated over the weekend. 

In an exclusive interview with NBC News in California, Bloomberg looked past his Democratic rivals who are competing in the Iowa caucuses Monday, insisting his own future in the race won’t be affected by the results of the caucuses. Instead, Bloomberg said, he’s “running against Donald Trump.” 

“I think there’s no question that he’s worried about me, because otherwise he wouldn’t respond,” Bloomberg says. “Donald doesn’t want to run against me because he knows I’ve taken him on, and every time, I’ve beaten him. I’m trying to tell the public what I did and what I will do and not get into a silly contest. He can’t run on his record.” 

Read more here.

Buttigieg: 'Everything’s come down to today'

Former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg gave volunteers some final words of encouragement Tuesday afternoon.

“Everything’s come down to today,” Buttigieg, who has bet big on Iowa, said to volunteers at a West Des Moines field office as they prepared to knock on doors in the final few hours before the caucuses. 

“Know that you are part of an absolute force that is sweeping through the state of Iowa right now,” Buttigieg continued. 

Buttigieg thanked his volunteers for their hard work, and took a moment to celebrate that, after "all of the debates, all of the appearances, all of the conversations," caucus day was here.

Bernie Sanders has edge in Google searches ahead of caucuses

More people searched on Google for Bernie Sanders in the Des Moines area in the 30 days leading up to Monday night's caucus than any other candidate, data from the company shows.

Sanders, who has seen a surge in the polls, outpaced Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg in the past months, according to Google Trends. Joe Biden came in fourth. 

The data looks at search volume on a relative basis. Des Moines residents showed a particular interest in search for Sanders on Saturday, the latest day for which data is available.  

Bloomberg campaigns in California as the rest of the field focuses on Iowa

While the 2020 presidential candidates focus their attention on Monday's Iowa caucuses, former New York City mayor and businessman Michael Bloomberg is campaigning in a state with 10 times the number of delegates at stake: California. 

Bloomberg, who vowed to skip the early voting states that have traditionally been the starting point in the nominating process, is visiting California for the fourth time encouraging people to participate in the state’s mail-in and early voting periods that start this week.

More people are expected to vote early in California than are expected to participate in the Iowa caucuses Monday. Iowa determines just 1 percent of the delegates to the Democratic National Convention. 

Bloomberg’s counterprogramming to the Iowa caucuses highlights his unconventional campaign and his strategy to focus on delegate-rich states that vote later in the primary season.

California votes on Super Tuesday, March 3, one month after Iowa.

Bernie Sanders raised more online from Iowans than rest of Dem field

DES MOINES, Iowa — As the clock ticks closer to Monday night's Iowa caucuses, new federal election filings from the Democratic fundraising platform ActBlue provide the latest glimpse as to each candidates' financial strength in the Hawkeye State. 

That new data shows that Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., raised more money online from Iowans, $703,000, than his Democratic presidential rivals in all of 2019. 

Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, raised the second most with $519,000, followed by Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren's $418,000, former Vice President Joe Biden's $251,000,  Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar's $185,000 and businessman Andrew Yang's $142,000. 

Read more here.

Trump urges Iowa Republicans to 'go out and Caucus today'

Conspiracy theories swirl over canceled Iowa poll, pushed by Sanders and Yang supporters

Supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Andrew Yang pushed false conspiracy theories on Twitter over the weekend tied to the canceled Des Moines Register poll, effectively commandeering a trending hashtag to convey the idea that their candidates are more successful than the public has been led to believe.

The Des Moines Register poll, a closely watched indicator of the Iowa race, was canceled after at least one interviewer apparently omitted Pete Buttigieg’s name from the randomized list of candidates the surveyor read. The political website Axios reported that the reason for the error was that an interviewer increased the font size of the questionnaire on a computer screen, leaving the bottom choice invisible.

But supporters of Sanders and Yang decided, without evidence, that the reason for the poll’s cancellation had to be that their candidates had high poll numbers, which the newspaper or the polling company wanted to suppress for some reason. (The Des Moines Register poll is actually one of the most respected polls in the country, known for its integrity and accuracy.)

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