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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NBC News review of Iowa caucus vote finds potential errors, inconsistencies
The Iowa Democratic caucus results are rife with potential errors and inconsistencies that could affect the outcome of the election, according to a review by the NBC News Decision Desk.
The apparent mistakes — spotted in at least dozens of the state's 1,711 precincts — call into question the accuracy of the outcome of Iowa's first-in-the-nation caucus, which was held on Monday night.
In some individual precincts, it may be possible to fix the errors; in other precincts, it will probably be impossible to determine how voters truly made their choices.
The potential errors and inconsistencies take on importance because of the closeness of the contest between the two front-runners — former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.
Yang fires dozens of Iowa staff
Entrepreneur Andrew Yang's campaign is letting go of "dozens" of staff in Iowa, including its national political and policy directors, the campaign confirmed to NBC News.
“As part of our original plans following the Iowa caucuses, we are winding down our Iowa operations and restructuring to compete as the New Hampshire primary approaches," campaign manager Zach Graumann said in a statement.
Graumann called the firings "a natural evolution of the campaign post-Iowa, same as other campaigns have undertaken."
Yang "is going to keep fighting for the voices of the more than 400,000 supporters who have donated to the campaign and placed a stake in the future of our country,” Graumann said.
Politico first reported the dismissals.
With the majority of the results reported by the Iowa Democratic Party, Yang appears to have finished sixth in Iowa, with about 1 percent of state delegate equivalents.
Sanders, Buttigieg declare themselves Iowa winners
"What I wanna do today, three days late, is to thank the people of Iowa for the very strong victory they gave us for the caucuses Monday night," Sanders said.
Sanders acknowledged he was disappointed to be making the declaration to reporters at a campaign office in a strip mall in New Hampshire, instead of to voters in Iowa, but suggested that it was the right move compared to rival Pete Buttigieg, who made his own declaration of victory in Iowa on Monday night, before any results had been released.
Buttigieg was triumphant when he addressed supporters Monday before any official results were released and continued to claim victory through the week.
At a New York fundraiser on Wednesday, Buttigieg continued to tout an Iowa win.
"There is just no question that Monday in Iowa represents an astonishing victory for our vision, for our candidacy and for this country," he said, hailing the contest as a demonstration of his ability to win across rural, suburban and urban areas, as well as places that had previously voted for Donald Trump.
2020 candidates react to Iowa caucus recanvassing
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., told reporters on Thursday that he is not concerned about the DNC calling for a recanvass of votes after a confusing, protracted Iowa caucus underscored by "inconsistencies" found in election data.
“We won an 8-person election by some 6,000 votes," Sanders said after hearing DNC chair Tom Perez calling for the recanvass. "That is not going to change.”
As of Thursday, Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, had his lead over Sanders narrowed with 97 percent of the caucus vote released. Though the Iowa Democratic caucus results are not actual votes cast and the percentages released are known as state delegate equivalents, or SDEs - calculated through an algorithm - Sanders lead Buttigieg in raw vote totals.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., supported the decision. She told NBC News on Thursday that "you have to make sure that every single vote was counted."
"Sometimes in caucuses things can be close," she said. "You have to go back in and figure it out."
A recanvass is essentially a double-checking of the vote through a hand audit of caucus worksheets and reporting forms to verify calculations.
DNC chair calls for Iowa to recanvass caucus vote, says 'enough is enough'
Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez is calling on Iowa Democratic officials to immediately recanvass Monday's caucus vote after days of uncertainty and growing concerns about the accuracy of the results.
"Enough is enough," Perez said in a tweet. "In light of the problems that have emerged in the implementation of the delegate selection plan and in order to assure public confidence in the results, I am calling on the Iowa Democratic Party to immediately begin a recanvass."
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.
Some Iowa results have been in the mail
Iowa Democrats have been delayed in reporting 100 percent of the results of Monday night's caucuses because some precinct chairs mailed in their worksheets Tuesday morning, and a small number of packets have been in the mail, according to a participant in a Democratic conference call Wednesday night and an Iowa Democratic official familiar with what was discussed.
Troy Price, the Iowa Democratic Party chairman, told participants on the call that the party's call center was overwhelmed with call volume and that the Democratic National Committee offered assistance with their own call center, the sources also said.
A more combative Biden works to stave off collapse after Iowa letdown
NASHUA, N.H. — 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 primaries 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 of 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," Biden told voters at a campaign event in New Hampshire this week.
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.”