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
- An NBC News review of the Iowa caucus vote finds the results are rife with potential errors, inconsistencies.
- DNC Chair Perez calls for recanvassing results amid growing concerns about their accuracy.
- Buttigieg, Sanders are neck and neck with nearly all the votes reported.
- Iowa caucus app was rushed and flawed from the beginning, experts say.
- Here's why more than one candidate can declare victory.
- Caucus chaos sparks fresh calls for an end to Iowa's leadoff status.
- Where to find Iowa race results.
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Acting homeland security head claims Iowa Dems 'declined' offer to test app
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf claimed on Tuesday that Iowa Democrats "declined" his department’s offer to test the app used to report caucus results on Monday for hacking vulnerabilities.
“So our cybersecurity and infrastructure security agency has offered to test that app, from a hacking perspective," Wolf said in an interview on Fox News Tuesday morning. "They declined, and so we're seeing a couple of issues with it. I would say right now we don't see any malicious cyber-activity going on,”
Wolf said that the issues with the Iowa caucuses are not hacking-related, but described the problem as “more of a stress or a load issue, as well as a reporting issue.”
Wolf added, “But what I would say is that, given the amount of scrutiny that we have on election security these days, this is a concerning event and it really goes to the public confidence of our elections."
The Iowa Democratic Party has also said the delay in counting the results is not due to a hacking issue and said that "in preparation for the caucuses, our systems were tested by independent cybersecurity consultants."
#MayorCheat trends after Iowa caucus problems
Claims of a rigged Iowa caucus have percolated on the far right and far left on Twitter after reporting problems delayed the announcement of the Iowa caucus results.
On Tuesday morning, the hashtag "#MayorCheat" trended — an apparent reference to former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who was one of several candidates to give a victory-like speech Monday night, despite the lack of results — along with other hashtags insinuating that the caucus has been rigged. That claim has also been made by many high-profile Trump supporters.
The Iowa Democratic Party said Monday night that despite the delay and some "inconsistencies," there was no evidence of a "hack or intrusion" on the app used to report the results.
Iowa Democratic Party blames app 'coding issue' for delay in caucus results
The Iowa Democratic Party said Tuesday that its new app, meant to speed up the reporting of caucus results, suffered from a “coding issue” that instead led to a significant delay in counting and reporting results.
The error, which caused accurately collected data to only be partially reported, pushed the party to resort to manual backups.
"As part of our investigation, we determined with certainty that the underlying data collected via the app was sound," Iowa Democratic Party chairman Troy Price said in a statement. "While the app was recording data accurately, it was reporting out only partial data. We have determined that this was due to a coding issue in the reporting system. This issue was identified and fixed."
Biden campaign raises ‘concerns’ about ‘integrity’ of Iowa caucuses
Kate Bedingfield, Biden's deputy campaign manager and communications director, said the campaign has "real concerns about the integrity of the process” Tuesday morning during an appearance on CNN.
"I think there were some significant failures in the process last night that should give voters concern," Bedingfield said, citing difficulty that many caucus chairs had reporting results through an app and phone calls.
"I think taken together those are significant concerns," Bedingfield said. "I think they should raise concerns for voters. And, you know, election integrity is obviously of the utmost importance and so we really want to make sure the Iowa Democratic Party addresses this before they put out official data."
The Iowa Democratic has said that their data was "sound" and the delay in the results was not due to a hack or intrusion, rather an abundance of caution to ensure accuracy. They plan to release the results sometime Tuesday.
When asked what reason she has to believe differently than what the Iowa Democratic Party has stated, Bedingfield said, "If you have a process where you can't be confident that the results that are being reported are reflective of the votes that people cast last night and the process, that's a real concern."
Trump's campaign shouts 'rigged' as Iowa caucuses thrown into chaos
President Donald Trump's adult sons and campaign suggested the Iowa caucuses were "rigged" as the state Democratic Party said it found "inconsistencies" and delayed releasing results, leading to widespread confusion in the Hawkeye State.
"Mark my words, they are rigging this thing ... what a mess," Eric Trump, one of Trump's sons, tweeted. "This is why people don’t want the #Dems running our county."
"The fix is in... AGAIN," tweeted Trump's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr. "And we get to watch it play out on live TV. Incredible."
Trump did not go quite as far as his children and campaign, simply calling it "an unmitigated disaster," adding in a tweet that "The only person that can claim a very big victory in Iowa last night is 'Trump.''
There was no evidence that the state Democratic Party, which is overseeing the election, was "rigging" the results. Early Tuesday, the state party said it would release results from the Democratic caucuses later in the day after "manually verifying all precinct results."
Buttigieg: Iowa glitches are 'frustrating'
Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg called the glitches in the Iowa caucuses results “frustrating” Tuesday morning as he campaigned in Nashua, New Hampshire.
Buttigieg was heard briefly commenting on the yet-to-be released caucuses results as he was greeted by Nashua mayor, Jim Donchess, at a cafe.
As Buttigieg left he did not respond to shouted questions about Iowa.
The former mayor added in comments to CBS News while he is “impatient” to hear the results of the caucuses, “it was a phenomenal night for us.”
Buttigieg said he was not premature in claiming victory because he was able to gather support in a variety of counties, some of which then-candidate Donald Trump won in 2016.
“Looking at what happened last night, looking at all of the data we got, it was an extraordinary night. And we are absolutely victorious coming into New Hampshire,” he said.
When asked about ensuring that the public trusts the results of the caucuses once they come out, Buttigieg said it's “good news” that there's a paper trail backing up the votes.
“It's verifiable, but still very, very frustrating,” he said.
Biden campaign manager 'thrilled with our performance'
Joe Biden's campaign manager, Greg Schultz, expressed confidence overnight that the Iowa caucuses showed "a tight race with bunched up candidates," adding it was “a great night for us.”
"We are thrilled with our performance across the state," he said.
"We have known for months that this contest was going to be extremely close — and that is confirmed by tonight’s caucuses," Schultz added. "There is no official Iowa Democratic Party data at this time — and any data being shared are from campaign internal metrics or head counts.
The campaign's own model showed Biden "overperformed in key districts we needed to be competitive in and we feel confident that this is a tight race with bunched up candidates," he continued. "Let’s be clear: No state delegate equivalents have been awarded. When it comes to the final outcome of the caucuses, this is still a competition for delegates, and the winner will continue to be based on State Delegate Equivalents. We believe that we have won our fair share of them.”
ANALYSIS: So far, there's only one loser in Iowa: The state's Democratic party
ll the top Democrats are moving on to New Hampshire, because Iowa failed to do the one job it had.
A colossal caucus-night technological foul-up — straight out of a dystopian political novel — will make it harder for the state's Democratic Party to justify its prized status as the first in the nation to hold a presidential election contest every four years. More immediately, it provided an opening for both Republicans and Democrats to question the eventual outcome of this round of caucuses, and it threw into doubt the validity of varying election systems in races for federal office.
Kurt Meyer, the chairman of the Tri-County Democratic Party, which includes three rural Iowa counties, said he’s “very worried” about the future of the caucuses.
“There were already enough pea shooters out there coming for Iowa. There were 49 other states saying, ‘Why does Iowa get to do this?’” he said. “And now we just poured a gallon of kerosene on what was a smoldering ember.”