Sanders declares victory in Iowa as DNC demands a 'recanvass'
Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders has declared victory in the Iowa caucus after three days of chaotic counting and recounting, calling the popular vote in his own favor with 97 percent of precincts reporting.
“What I want to do is thank the people of Iowa for the victory they gave us on Monday night,” Sanders said in a press conference on Thursday. With some 97 percent of precincts reporting, the Vermont senator is ahead in the popular vote by over 6,000, but still lags slightly in delegates behind South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg.
Thank you Iowa for bringing our campaign to victory! We are well-positioned to win the Democratic nomination and defeat the most dangerous president in the modern history of this country. pic.twitter.com/JG9LmD62tb— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) February 6, 2020
Sanders did not have much patience for what he referred to as the media’s obsession with “state delegate equivalents” (SDEs). Calling the caucus process “far too complicated” and pointing out that a rule change following 2016’s own primary fiasco had de-emphasized the role of those delegates, he pointed out that he would have the same number of national delegates at the 2020 convention as his rival.
Sanders wasn’t the first candidate to declare victory in Iowa, of course - that honor goes to Buttigieg, who named himself the winner on Monday before a single vote tally was released. When the Iowa Democratic Party finally released preliminary partial results on Tuesday, with just 62 percent of precincts counted, Buttigieg was confirmed in the lead - but the gap between the two candidates has narrowed ever since.
Not everyone was satisfied with Sanders’ belated claim to the prized Iowa victory, however. One reporter demanded to know why he should believe Sanders’ victory speech over that of his upstart rival, only to be hit with a math lesson.
Because I got 6,000 more votes. And where I come from, when you get 6,000 more votes, that’s generally regarded to be the winner.
With about 180,000 voters in the Iowa caucus divided among eight candidates, Sanders reasoned, 6,000 was a healthy margin of victory.Also on rt.com Iowa disaster redux: DNC demands recanvass as more sordid details emerge about Shadow app’s backers
Asked whether he was not “confusing the process” by claiming victory prematurely, Sanders appeared to be losing patience with his adopted party. “I would hope, given the fact that we’ve waited three days and now there’s talk of another recount, maybe we might want the decisions of the Iowa caucus before the November election.”
DNC chair Tom Perez called for a "recanvass" of Iowa just hours before Sanders spoke. This would involve reviewing the precincts' math, as opposed to a total recount.
When the app that was supposed to report vote totals failed on Monday night, statistics the Sanders campaign had collected from precinct captains placed him in an easy first place by raw votes. That didn’t stop Buttigieg from staking his claim to the Iowa ribbon, considered an important victory because it’s the first state to hold a contest. Most of the time, candidates who win Iowa go on to secure their party’s nomination.
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