Results have been delayed in the Iowa caucus, as Democratic Party officials were seeking to reconcile “inconsistencies” in the tabulations.
A state party official told reporters at 1 a.m. CT that the results would be released sometime on Tuesday. The candidates set about spinning the results based on their own internal data.
Taking the stage shortly before midnight CT, Mayor Pete Buttigieg flat-out claimed victory, saying the outcome would “shock the nation.”
“By all indications, we are going on to New Hampshire victorious!” Buttigieg said, adding that many were skeptical of his campaign. “Tonight I say with a heart full of gratitude: Iowa, you have proved those skeptics wrong.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders, meanwhile, released the campaign’s internal data from about 40% of Iowa’s precincts, which showed him in the lead, Buttigieg in second, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren in third. Former vice president Joe Biden was in fourth in the Sanders tally. Sanders was the frontrunner in Iowa polls heading into the caucus.
“I have a strong feeling that at some point the results will be announced,” Sanders told his supporters. “I have a good feeling we’re going to be doing really well here in Iowa.”
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Joe Rospars, the chief strategist for Warren’s campaign, tweeted that Warren had placed in the top three.
“It’s a very close race among the top three candidates (Warren, Sanders, Buttigieg) and Biden came a distant fourth,” Rospars said. “The process broke down; systematically and individually in many precincts, both people and technology failed. Any campaign saying they won or putting out incomplete numbers is contributing to the chaos and misinformation.”
Addressing his supporters, Biden said he, too, felt good about the results. “We don’t know exactly what it is yet but we feel good about where we are,” Biden said. “So it’s on to New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina and well beyond. We’re in this for the long haul.”
The cable networks were forced to fill hours of airtime with chatter and occasional reports from caucus sites as the results failed to materialize.
For the first time, the state Democratic Party said it would release vote totals in addition to delegate counts. The state party said it would release the initial vote totals, the totals after supporters of non-viable candidates realigned to their second choice, and the delegate counts. But the state party appeared to be having trouble receiving that data from the caucus sites.
“We found inconsistencies in the reporting of three sets of results,” party spokeswoman Mandy McClure said in a statement. “In addition to the tech systems being used to tabulate results, we are also using photos of results and a paper trail to validate that all results match and ensure that we have confidence and accuracy in the numbers we report. This is simply a reporting issue. The app did not go down and this is not a hack or an intrusion. The underlying data and paper trail is sound and will simply take time to further report the results.”
An earlier statement said the party was undertaking “quality checks” on the data.
Many of the candidates will head to New Hampshire on Tuesday, which holds its primary on Feb. 11.