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

Buttigieg responds to Iowa voter who pulled her support after realizing he's gay

Pete Buttigeig on Wednesday praised a campaign volunteer who responded to an Iowa caucusgoer's decision to rescind her support after learning that Buttigieg is in same-sex marriage, saying he was proud that the volunteer had spoke to the woman "with respect."

MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle asked the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, about a viral video of the encounter.

“How real is that? How big of an issue is that for you?” Ruhle asked.

Buttigieg, who has been married to Chasten Buttigieg since 2018, said he “felt proud of our organizer volunteer,” precinct captain Nikki van den Heever, “who on my behalf was speaking to her and speaking to her with respect.”

Read the story.

A more combative Biden works to stave off collapse after Iowa letdown

Iowa may have been a “gut punch” for Joe Biden, but the next two states could deliver a knockout blow to his presidential bid if he doesn’t deliver a better performance.

The former vice president has grown more combative with his main Democratic rivals this week in an attempt to shore up his support in New Hampshire and Nevada, where victory is far from assured. Going 0 for 3 would risk shattering the front-runner status Biden has held nationally, and raise questions about his unique “electability” against President Donald Trump — the central argument for his candidacy.

And so on Wednesday, Biden ripped into Pete Buttigieg as “a risk” due to his inexperience, and blasted Bernie Sanders’ “democratic socialist” label as lacking viability in a general election. "Donald Trump is desperate to pin the label of ‘socialist’ on our party. We can’t let him do that," he told voters in New Hampshire.

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Buttigieg, Sanders neck and neck in Iowa with nearly all votes reported

Pete Buttigieg was clinging to the narrowest of leads in Iowa over Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., on Thursday, with 97 percent of the caucus vote released.

Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, was at 26.2 percent and Sanders had 26 percent, with Sen. Elizabeth Warren running behind at 18.2 percent. Former Vice President Joe Biden had 15.8 percent, Sen. Amy Klobuchar at 12.2 percent and other candidates were in low single digits.

Iowa Democratic caucus results are not actual votes cast. The percentages, based on partial returns of the estimated number of state convention delegates won by each candidate through the caucus process, are known as state delegate equivalents, or SDEs.

The totals were put out by the Iowa Democratic Party over the past two days after chaos over the caucuses on Monday night. More data may be released on Thursday.

NBC News has not called a winner in the first-in-the-nation contest.

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'Clog the lines': Iowa caucus hotline posted online with encouragement to disrupt results reporting

The phone number to report Iowa caucus results was posted on a fringe internet message board on Monday night along with encouragement to “clog the lines,” an indication that jammed phone lines that left some caucus managers on hold for hours may have in part been due to prank calls.

An Iowa Democratic Party official said the influx of calls to the reporting hotline included “supporters of President Trump who called to express their displeasure with the Democratic Party.” The party official’s comments were first reported late Wednesday by Bloomberg News.

Users on a politics-focused section of the fringe 4chan message board repeatedly posted the phone number for the Iowa Democratic Party, which was found by a simple Google search, both as screenshots and in plain text, alongside instructions.

"They have to call in the results now. Very long hold times being reported. Phone line being clogged," one user posted at about 11 p.m. ET on Monday, two hours after the caucuses began.

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Buttigieg says 'just no question' Iowa a victory for his candidacy as lead narrows

Speaking at a fundraiser in New York on Wednesday night, former Mayor Pete Buttigieg continued to tout the results in Iowa, saying, “There is just no question that Monday in Iowa represents an astonishing victory for our vision, for our candidacy and for this country.”

Buttigieg hailed the results as a demonstration of his ability to win across rural, suburban and urban areas, as well as places that previously voted for President Donald Trump.

At the time Buttigieg made the remarks, 92 percent of Iowa precincts were reporting. With 97 percent now in, he retains only a slight lead over Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.

Iowa Democrats say Trump supporters called into vote counting hotline, causing them more problems

An Iowa Democratic Party official told NBC News that as it experienced "an unusually high volume of inbound phone calls to its caucus hotline" after an app created to reported results had faltered Monday night, including from "supporters of President [Donald] Trump."

Iowa precinct chairs had to use that hotline to report vote tallies following mishaps with the app, but many were met with lengthy wait times in order to get through. That phone number was posted online, worsening the problem.

Trump supporters calling the hotline was first reported by Bloomberg News.

Iowa Democrats did not respond to NBC News' requests for information on how many individuals manned the phone lines Monday night. The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

"At the outset of boiler room operations on February 3rd, the Iowa Democratic Party experienced an unusually high volume of inbound phone calls to its caucus hotline," An Iowa Democratic Party official told NBC News.

"These included callers who would hang up immediately after being connected, supporters of President Trump who called to express their displeasure with the Democratic Party, and Iowans looking to confirm details for their evening’s caucus."

"Party staff and volunteers flagged and subsequently blocked repeat callers who appeared to be reaching out in an attempt to interfere with their reporting duties," the party official continued. "Veterans of past boiler room operations described the volume of calls as highly irregular compared to previous caucuses. The unexplained, and at times hostile, calls contributed to the delay in the Iowa Democratic Party’s collection of results, but in no way affected the integrity of information gathered or the accuracy of data sets reported."

Buttigieg's slim lead narrows with 97 percent reporting

Former Mayor Pete Buttigieg's slim lead over Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., narrowed early Thursday, according to the latest Iowa caucus results.

The candidates remain in the same positions with 97 percent of results reported — 1,711 out of 1,765 precincts. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is in third place, followed by former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

Buttigieg's narrow lead holds with 92 percent reporting

Former Mayor Pete Buttigieg continues to lead Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., in the latest batch of Iowa results, which was released by the state Democratic Party late Wednesday.

With 92 percent of the results reported, the candidates remain in the same positions. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is in the third place, followed by former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

Get the latest updates on the Iowa results.