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4 Feb, 2020 22:07

Buttigieg leading, Sanders close 2nd in US Democratic Party's Iowa caucuses based on partial results

Buttigieg leading, Sanders close 2nd in US Democratic Party's Iowa caucuses based on partial results

Pete Buttigieg is leading Bernie Sanders in the Iowa caucuses, based on partial results from the first contest in the 2020 Democrat presidential nomination process, marred by confusion and chaos blamed on “coding errors.”

The Iowa Democratic Party released the tally from 62 percent of the precincts in all of the state’s 99 counties on Tuesday afternoon, almost an entire day after the caucuses ended. The South Bend, Indiana mayor had already declared victory in the media, while the Vermont senator’s campaign said it had data showing otherwise.

The process was marred by chaos and confusion at multiple caucus sites, as well as frustration online after party officials unexpectedly delayed the reporting of results and had released only a portion of them by Tuesday evening.

The delay was originally blamed on a “coding error” that forced an “investigation,” as well as requiring votes to be counted by hand. However, the Iowa Democratic Party chair said the results tabulated through a controversial app were “accurate.”

READ MORE: Dems say Iowa caucus chaos caused by ‘coding issue’

Though Buttigieg is leading at the moment, there are still votes to be counted and there is not yet a timetable for when they will be released. The Iowa Democratic Party, however, claims they have released a "majority" of the final tallies. 

The claim to the number one spot comes at a price. Pete Buttigieg controversially declared himself “victorious” in the absence of results, and did the Tuesday morning show rounds. He later doubled down on the claim at a New Hampshire rally. Bernie Sanders' campaign released their own data and showed Sanders with a heavy lead on his opponents before the official vote totals were released. The campaign said their own information was gathered from "precinct captains around the state."

Also on rt.com Iowa caucus disaster: ‘Technical glitch’ spawns conspiracy theories & Democrats have only themselves to blame

Further complicating the results was the popular vote of the caucus-goers, where Sanders is actually ahead of Buttigieg – 28,220 to 27,030, respectively. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) placed third with 22,254 votes or 18.3 percent, while Former Vice President Joe Biden – far from the front-runner he was once proclaimed – brought up the rear with 14,176 votes, or 15.6 percent.

Sanders supporters have also been skewering Democrat Party higher-ups for supposedly rigging the system against the socialist candidate, something the party were also accused of doing in 2016. The counting chaos and free-for-all among the candidates certainly didn’t help the Democratic Party’s image, even in the eyes of some supporters.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump has been endlessly trolling Democrats for the debacle in Iowa, also declaring himself the only clear victor in the state.

The Iowa caucuses are the candidates’ first challenge ahead of the Democratic National Convention in July, where a party’s single nominee will be officially chosen to go up against Trump in the general election. Iowa is traditionally considered an important state by campaign strategists and the media because the caucuses there provide a glimpse at how the rest of the primaries may look.

Also on rt.com ‘You only have one job, Iowa’: Delay with US Democratic Party’s first caucuses results sparks anger and jokes online

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