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

The realignment: Small Adel, Iowa, precinct breaks for Buttigieg

ADEL, Iowa — The second alignment in the Democratic caucusing here at the Adel DeSoto Minburn Middle School has concluded, and we have a victor.

It’s Pete Buttigieg.

After a surprisingly suspenseful period during which the supporters of the non-viable candidates at this location (Yang, Klobuchar and Sanders) slowly decided where to throw their support, it became clear that it would be a very close three-way race between Buttigieg, Warren and Biden.

At one moment, a woman in a black sweater who had originally aligned with Yang couldn’t make up her mind, and literally walked back and forth between the Warren and Buttigieg groups before finally sticking with Buttigieg.

A few moments later, party officials announced the final count. And it was close.

In the end, at this location, Buttigieg received the support of 32 people, Warren received the support of 29 people, and Biden received the support of 24 people.

That means that, after the first alignment, Biden picked up three supporters, Warren picked up nine supporters and Buttigieg picked up 12.

One woman who switched from Yang to Buttigieg after the first alignment — not the one in the black sweater mentioned above — said it came down her view of electability.

“I just feel like he really is the most electable,” Jeanne Dobrzynski, a nurse here in Adel, told NBC News.

Two voters NBC News interviewed earlier in the night, Lacey Cornwell and her husband Jay Cornwell, also ended up going with Buttigieg.

Lacey Cornwell went with him immediately, on the first alignment, while Jay Cornwell went with him on the second. He’d initially said he’d support Tom Steyer, but decided to go with Klobuchar on the first alignment. He then switched to Buttigieg after Klobuchar didn’t reach viability.

NBC News Entrance Poll: A dip in first-timers at Iowa’s Democratic caucuses

Compared to previous years in Iowa, there was a big dip on Monday in participants attending a Democratic caucus for the first time, NBC News Entrance Poll data show. 

Just about a third of those caucusing this year are first-timers. That’s lower than in 2016, when first-timers made up 44 percent of the state’s Democratic caucusgoers. And this year’s level of new participants is significantly lower than in 2008, when 57 percent of Democrats said they’d never caucused before.


Inside a caucus, Warren supporter tells Katy Tur: 'I believe she's electable'

NBC News Entrance Poll: Sanders top choice for Iowa liberals; Biden, Buttigieg lead among moderates

Ideology has emerged as a key fault line dividing Iowa Democrats among the party’s top presidential contenders, early results from Monday's NBC News Entrance Poll show.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is the favorite of voters who call themselves either “very” or “somewhat” liberal, followed by Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

But among self-identified moderate and conservative Iowa Democratic caucusgoers, the top choice is former Vice President Joe Biden: About 3 in 10 of these voters said they planned to support the former vice president, with Buttigieg running a strong second.

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.