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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A bad sign for Biden?

An observation from NBC News contributor Dave Wasserman:

At Dallas County precinct, Warren, Buttigieg, Biden cruise in first round

ADEL, Iowa — Caucusing has commenced at the Adel DeSoto Minburn Middle School in this Dallas County town of about 4,400.

At 7:00 p.m. local time, promptly, party officials locked the doors and announced the start of the meeting. They first went through some routine business, before formally kicking off the caucus process. 

First, the number of caucusgoers in the room was counted and, in short order, party officials announced that there were officially 94 people in the room. They then announced that a candidate would need to have the support of 16 caucusgoers to be viable after the first round at this location. 

Caucusgoers then had 15 minutes to align with their preferred candidate.

After the time period closed, and choices were counted, party officials announced who would — and would not — be viable. 

Not viable at this location were: Andrew Yang, who got support from six people; Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., who got support from 11 people, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who got support from 14 people. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., who dropped out of the race, got the support of two people.

The candidates who surpassed the viability threshold in the first alignment were: Former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who got the support of 20 people; former Vice President Joe Biden, who got the support of 21 people; and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., who got the support of 20 people.

We have moved on to the second alignment now.

NBC News Entrance Poll: Sanders keeps support of just over half of Iowa Democrats who caucused for him in 2016

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ outsider bid came within a hairsbreadth of winning the Iowa Democratic caucuses in 2016. Early results from the NBC News Entrance Poll on Monday show that among those caucusing this year, Sanders is keeping the support of just over half of those who caucused for him four years ago. 

The remainder of Sanders' 2016 voters are now divided among Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and former Vice President Joe Biden.

Iowa Democratic official says early signs of high voter turnout

Sean Bagniewski is the chair of Polk County Democrats (where Des Moines is located.)

Iowa mosques make history

Caucus process is a barrier to access for some

SIOUX CITY, Iowa — Iowans with small children, nontraditional schedules or disabilities may still face barriers to participating in Iowa’s quirky Democratic caucus process, an often hours-long debate among neighbors at night.

At an Amy Klobuchar event Saturday, Hailey Poiesz, 22, said she plans to caucus with her baby.

Her husband, an immigrant who cannot vote, will stay home with her older child, but she said the baby is happier with her so she'll bring him along. 

“It’s a little bit chaotic,” she said, noting she wasn't sure if she'd be able to stay for the full event. “And this is a school night!” 

Iowa's caucuses have been plagued by lower turnout. In a state of more than 3 million people, just 171,109 Democrats showed up to caucus in 2016.

The state Democratic Party has worked to increase accessibility, including adding a slew of satellite caucuses this year in hopes of expanding access. Some satellite caucuses are earlier in the day to accommodate shift workers, while others are at colleges, nursing homes and hospitals. The party has also recruited translators and has a caucus site for deaf Iowans who want to caucus in sign language, too.

One campaign is trying to personally bridge the accessibility gap: Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren's campaign is offering child care for some caucusgoers, circulating a sign-up sheet in the days Monday's first-in-the-nation contest. 

After a campaign event with former Vice President Joe Biden in Fort Madison on Friday, Dan Greenwald, 61, told NBC News that his work shift conflicts with the 8 p.m. ET caucus start time and that the satellite caucuses would have disrupted his sleep schedule, too. But he enjoys caucusing too much to miss it. 

“I’m taking vacation off work — just to go!” he said. "It's January and my vacation bank just got full again!"

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.