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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NBC News Entrance Poll: Health care matters most to Iowa Democrats

Health care leads the list of issues mattering most to Iowa Democrats as they participate in Monday's presidential caucuses, according to early results from the NBC News Entrance Poll.

About 4 in 10 Democrats named health care as the most important issue when they decided which candidate to support. Three other issues — climate change, income inequality and foreign policy — all trailed behind. 

Biden manages expectations ahead of Iowa results

The closing days of the Biden campaign here in Iowa have all seemed to be about managing expectations — including from the candidate himself.

“Nothing happens here on Monday's going to end this campaign,” the former vice president told NBC News in a recent interview between campaign stops on his bus. “I think you're going to see a bunch of us coming out bunched up, and that's going to be fine. I mean, I'd rather have an outright win, don't get me wrong.”

A senior Biden campaign official said this isn’t about lowering expectations so much as it is a reflection of a volatile political environment and a caucus campaign unlike any before it. 

At the same time, the official warned against anyone reading too much into one result, especially from a state like Iowa where the demographics don’t reflect the broader coalition that typically has decided Democratic nominations.

It represents the bind the Biden team has been in all along. To have ignored Iowa would have been seen as an admission of weakness by a candidate whose core argument has been about his electability. But waiting until late April to jump in the race and the more liberal bent of the caucus electorate always was going to put him at a disadvantage here.

Still, the Biden team went all-in in the Hawkeye State in the late fall, sensing a chance perhaps to put the nomination fight to bed before it really started with a victory here. The team felt it was gaining momentum through the holidays, although late pointed attacks from the Bernie Sanders campaign, coupled with the constant din of Ukraine attacks from the president and his allies, seemed to dent it.

The Biden team’s response to the Ukraine attacks at to cast them as evidence of just how much the Trump team feared facing Biden in the fall. As for the Bernie attacks? Biden tried to keep the conversation about the policy contrasts that he felt played to his strengths as he sold voters on his ability to win over swing voters.

“The old saying is that talk is cheap. Well in politics, talk is sometimes very expensive. Especially when you don't tell people how you're going to pay for what you tell them you're going to do,” Biden said at a closing weekend stop in Waterloo. “We have to beat Donald Trump. And the one thing you can't do is end up not being straight with American people, he'll eat you alive. He'll eat us alive.”

Biden didn’t name Sanders there explicitly, though he did in an interview later.

“Bernie's dilemma, from my perspective, is that he is not being straightforward on how he's going to get done what he's suggesting and the cost of what he's suggesting,” he said. “Barack and I inherited a recession, the greatest recession since the Depression, what happened was we not only got us out of the hole, but we reduced the overall debt. Now it's back up to a trillion dollars a year, and how in God's name are you going to go in and spend $60 trillion over the next 10?”

Trump wins Iowa GOP caucuses, NBC News projects

President Donald Trump was quickly the projected winner of the Republican caucuses in Iowa on Monday, defeating several minor candidates who are challenging the president for the GOP nomination.

NBC News Decision Desk

NBC News projected around 7:20 p.m. CT that Trump won, beating candidates Joe Walsh, a conservative radio host and former congressman, and Bill Weld, who served as governor of Massachusetts from 1991 until 1997.

Read more here

Early data is coming in as caucuses officially underway

DES MOINES, Iowa — Early entrance polls show four leading candidates vying for first place on Monday night as doors close Iowa's Democratic caucuses, with final results remaining unclear.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren are all contesting for the lead, according to an NBC News entrance poll.

The race remains too early to call, according to NBC News. 

Read more here.

NBC News Entrance Poll: Young Iowa caucusgoers flock to Sanders, while seniors favor Biden

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is the top choice of caucusgoers under 30 in Monday's Iowa Democratic presidential caucuses, while former Vice President Joe Biden is the clear favorite among those age 65 or over.

Early results from the NBC News Entrance Poll of Iowa Democrats finds Sanders capturing the support of about half of caucusgoers age 17 to 29, with former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Biden trailing well behind. 

Among seniors, the story is nearly the opposite: Biden is capturing the support of nearly 4 in 10 participants age 65 and over, followed by Buttigieg, Warren and then Sanders.

ANALYSIS: Will Bernie’s backers play ball?

One way Sanders could be judged is how his supporters respond at caucus sites where they don’t meet the 15% threshold. Will they refuse to realign en masse — taking their proverbial ball and going home?

Will they tend toward other candidates outside the party mainstream like Yang? Will they cluster around fellow progressive Warren? Or might they go “bro” with Biden or Buttigieg?

NBC News Entrance Poll: A big leap in late-deciding Iowa Democrats

About one-third of those participating in Monday evening’s Iowa Democratic presidential caucuses waited until the last few days to make up their mind about who to support, according to early results from the NBC News Entrance Poll. 

That’s a substantial leap from four years ago, when just 16 percent of caucusgoers waited this late to decide.


In Dallas County town, caucusgoers say they're looking for a 'fresh' candidate

ADEL, Iowa — Democratic caucusgoers have begun gathering in the commons of the Adel DeSoto Minburn Middle School, a location that could feature a battle among the more moderate candidates in the race. 

Caucusing here, a town of about 4,400 people about 30 miles west of Des Moines, formally kicked off at 8 p.m. ET. Adel is in the center of Dallas County, the fastest growing county in the state. In the same county in 2016, Hillary Clinton beat Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., 57 percent to 42 percent. 

Lacey Cornwell, a 37-year-old, self-employed Adel resident told NBC News that she was still undecided between former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. 

Cornwell, who said she identifies as an independent but supported Clinton in 2016 in both the caucuses and in the general election, said that she “just wants someone who is not controversial.”

“They’re a bit fresher and don’t have all the dirt the others do,” she said.”

Her husband Jay Cornwell, a 40-year-old conductor for the Union Pacific Railroad company, said he was going to caucus for Tom Steyer, whom he said he felt “would be the strongest debating Trump.”

If Steyer does not reach viability here, Cornwell said he’d then back Buttigieg.

“He’s young, he’s a veteran, I’m a veteran, and his lack of being in major high-level politics I think has appeal,” he said. “He’s fresh.”

NBC News Entrance Poll: Once again, liberals pack the Iowa Democratic caucuses

Liberals make up nearly 7 in 10 of those participating in the 2020 Iowa Democratic presidential caucuses Monday evening, according to early results from the NBC News Entrance Poll of party caucusgoers.

That’s about the same as four years ago, but a big leap from the previous contested Democratic caucuses in 2008, when liberals made up just 54 percent of Democrats who showed up.

NBC News Entrance Poll: Iowa Democrats want a nominee who can beat Trump

Voters attending Monday evening’s Iowa Democratic presidential caucuses prefer a nominee who is more likely to win in November over a nominee who shares their positions on key issues.

Early data from the NBC News Entrance Poll show that when asked to choose, about 6 in 10 caucusgoers say they would rather see their party nominate a candidate who “can beat Donald Trump,” while nearly 4 in 10 want a nominee who “agrees with you on major issues.”

Meanwhile in New Hampshire...