Sanders and Buttigieg Lead the Pack in Iowa, Partial Results Show | Off Message

Bernie Sanders
Sanders and Buttigieg Lead the Pack in Iowa, Partial Results Show

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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) addressing supporters at his field office in Newton, Iowa, on Sunday - PAUL HEINTZ
  • Paul Heintz
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) addressing supporters at his field office in Newton, Iowa, on Sunday
Updated 7:48 p.m.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Pete Buttigieg are in a close race for the lead in the Iowa caucuses, according to partial results released Tuesday evening by the Iowa Democratic Party.

Sanders leads the former South Bend, Ind., mayor in raw votes, though Buttigieg maintains a slight lead in state delegate equivalents, 26.9 percent to Sanders' 25.1 percent. That's with 62 percent of precincts reporting.



Candidate delegates are calculated from a multistep caucusing process in which voters may change their preference after an initial round of voting.

For the first time this year, the Iowa Democratic Party is releasing vote totals from each round of alignment. Both the initial and final round vote counts show Sanders with a lead in the popular vote.

Sanders has collected 27,088 first-round votes to Buttigieg's 23,666. His lead is narrower in the final round tally, 28,220 to 27,030.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), former vice president Joe Biden and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) were trailing, according to the initial returns. Warren earned 18.3 percent of state delegates to Biden's 15.6 percent and Klobuchar's 12.6 percent.

The remaining candidates garnered a combined 1.5 percent of state delegates.

The caucuses were held Monday, but problems in the state party's vote-counting effort, some of which were related to an app used by precinct captains, delayed even the partial results for nearly 24 hours.

In New Hampshire on Tuesday, campaigning ahead of that state's primary next week, Sanders reacted to the partial caucus results.

“I’m proud to tell you that last night in Iowa, we received more votes on the first and second round than any other candidate,” he said during a rally in Milford.

“For some reason in Iowa, they're having a little bit of trouble counting votes," he added. "But I am confident that here in New Hampshire, I know you’ll be able to count your votes on election night. And when you count those votes, I look forward to winning here in New Hampshire.”