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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

Bennet campaign, in memo to supporters, seeks to 'capitalize on the chaos'

Sen. Michael Bennet’s presidential campaign manager Daniel Barash is releasing a memo to supporters on the campaign’s goal to exceed expectations and surge in the New Hampshire primary Feb. 11.

“While chaos emerged in Iowa last night, Michael was in New Hampshire holding a town hall and talking to voters,” Barash writes. “It goes without saying, the events of last night validated our New Hampshire-first  approach.”

The memo details “strategic goals” to increase awareness of the campaign, build momentum, and “capitalize on the chaos in Iowa,” saying they need more resources and capacity to do it all.

“The number one way to ensure more voters learn about Michael and his vision for the country is through paid advertising,” Barash writes before soliciting contributions from supporters.

Disarray in Iowa raises N.H. stakes and reshapes Democratic contest

A lingering fog of uncertainty over the results of the year's first presidential nominating contest raised the stakes for the Democratic contenders as they descended on the Granite State ahead of the second.

The chaos seemed poised to deny the strongest Iowa finishers at least a share of potential momentum — and provide at least a temporary respite for underperformers.

As some declared victory in Iowa hours before the announcement of any vote counts, national Democratic front-runner Joe Biden's campaign preemptively questioned the integrity of the results — highlighting the risk the outcome in Iowa may pose to the former vice president's carefully-cultivated "electability" advantage ahead of New Hampshire's Feb. 11 primary.

Pete Buttigieg and his campaign continued to claim victory Tuesday, long before any results were due for public release. 

Sen. Bernie Sanders' campaign released internal caucus results based on data from 60 percent of Iowa precincts, ahead of Buttigieg and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, with Biden in a distant fourth place — but sounded less thrilled with the outcome than Buttigieg.

Meanwhile, Warren, D-Mass., told voters at a town hall in Keene, New Hampshire, on Tuesday morning that she was in "a tight three-way race at the top" with Sanders and Buttigieg.

Read the story.

Biden 'happy' to head to New Hampshire

Hours after arriving in the first-in-the-nation primary state, former Vice President Joe Biden sounded relieved to be out of Iowa amid the uncertainty of the caucus results.

“Folks, it really is, and I really mean it, you have no idea how happy we were to be heading to New Hampshire and Nashua,” Biden said in between laughs.

Although he joked about how quickly he got out of Iowa, Biden said he believed the campaign “had a good night” in the Hawkeye State. He told the roughly 150 people gathered in a Nashua gym that he believes the campaign will get a “fair share” of delegates even though he doesn’t “know precisely” how that breakdown would be.

Biden cautioned against drawing any final conclusions about the night and subtly spoke out against his opponents who immediately declared victory without results.

“But, you know, be careful what you say because it’s not done yet,” Biden said at the top of his remarks. “I'm not being critical. Let's give [the Iowa Democratic Party] time to work out those issues carefully and diligently because a lot depends on it.”

Sen. Kaine: Iowa situation a 'tragic set of mistakes'

Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, the 2016 Democratic vice presidential nominee, called the situation in Iowa "a tragic, tragic set of mistakes."

"I mean, I just, I feel for the voters, I feel for the volunteers, I feel for these candidates, I feel for everybody who spent all this time paying attention to it," he added. "I mean I just can't imagine what's happened. Now what can learn from it, you've got to get the answer to what went wrong before you jump to a conclusion about what to learn from it. But it's a disaster."

Warren, Klobuchar, Bloomberg campaign managers talk delay's impact

'Wake-up call': Iowa caucus disinformation serves as warning about 2020 election

Tech companies and election officials spent the past three years working to address the vulnerabilities that allowed Russia to promote disinformation and sow political divisions ahead of the 2016 election.

On Tuesday night, though, it didn’t take foreign interference to highlight the persistent vulnerabilities around the 2020 election. Americans proved perfectly capable of spreading disinformation on their own.

“This might be a great wake-up call,” said Alex Stamos, the director of the Stanford Internet Observatory, former head of security at Facebook and an NBC cybersecurity analyst. “If it turns out that this disaster has very little long-term effect on the primary, it's a great demonstration of what could go wrong on election night.”

One day after Americans cast their first votes in the election cycle, conspiracy theories, delayed election results and political opportunism intermingled online to create what disinformation researchers warn could be a harbinger of a self-inflicted worst-case scenario for the 2020 election.

Read the story.

Ex-Obama campaign manager: 'Those that did poorly are not going to pay the price'

David Plouffe, a former campaign manager for Barack Obama's 2008 campaign, said Tuesday that the caucus results delay only adds to the questions about the Democratic process in Iowa, adding that the lack of results will affect the momentum of both the winning and losing candidates.

“I think there are already a lot of questions building about the caucuses," Plouffe told MSNBC. "Obviously  I have personal experience with the caucuses, I was an Iowa Democratic employee. I think there’s a lot of positives to them, but it’s hard to argue now because we've had cycle after cycle where there are issues.”

Plouffe added, “I don’t know how materially it  changes the race, but I do think those that did well in Iowa aren’t going to get the full measure, the momentum bounce, and Iowa's much more about momentum than delegates. And those that did poorly are not going to pay the price.”

 

Buttigieg still using v-word despite no official results

On the campaign trail Tuesday in New Hampshire, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg continued to use the v-word to describe his showing in Iowa on Monday — even though the Iowa Democratic Party won't be releasing any results for another couple of hours.

"We are still waiting on some math, but one thing we know is that we are arriving with the momentum in the 2020 presidential campaign right now, and we had a victorious night in Iowa that shocked the pundits and will compel us to victory."

On Monday, he was among several candidates to deliver victory-like speeches once it became clear the caucus results wouldn't materialize before the end of the night. The others included Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., entrepreneur Andrew Yang.