Buttigieg, Sanders lead in Iowa caucus results with 71% of precincts reporting

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Democratic Party has released additional results from Monday night’s presidential caucuses. After a daylong delay, the party has now made public 71% of results from all 99 Iowa counties.

The new numbers released late Tuesday do not change the state of play for the candidates. Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, holds a slight lead over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former Vice President Joe Biden and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar trail behind.

When the party earlier released results from 62% of precincts, Pete Buttigieg led with 26.9%, Bernie Sanders followed with 25.1% and Elizabeth Warren trailed with 18.3%.

Earlier Tuesday, Buttigieg claimed on "CBS This Morning” that his performance in Iowa was “phenomenal,” especially given the fact that he had started his presidential campaign with little name recognition.

Joe Biden fell behind with 15.6%.

Amy Klobuchar and Andrew Yang came in last, with 12.6% and 1% respectively.

“We have been working day and night to make sure that the results are accurate,” Iowa Democratic Party Chair Troy Price said.

Price said the delay in caucus reporting results was “unacceptable.”

Three sets of results will be reported. They are the “first alignment” of caucusgoers, the “final alignment” and the number of “state delegate equivalents” won by each candidate.

The Associated Press will declare the winner of the Iowa caucuses based on the number of state delegate equivalents each candidate receives.

That’s because Democrats choose their overall nominee based on delegates.

While the other results provide insights into the process, state delegate equivalents have the most direct bearing on the metric Democrats use to pick their nominee.

Frustrated presidential candidates plowed ahead in their quest for nomination, most of them already in next-up New Hampshire.

All claimed to be encouraged by Iowa voters in Monday’s voting, especially Vermont Sen. Bernie Senators and Pete Buttigieg of Indiana.

Republican President Donald Trump mocked them all and their party and said he was the only one who could claim a victory in Iowa.

What happened?

A “coding issue” with a new mobile app is being blamed for the delay in reporting the results of Iowa’s 1,700 caucuses.

The glitch, which did not affect paper records of the vote, caused confusion and left the caucus results unknown early Tuesday.

The little-known technology start-up that created the app is under scrutiny after the Iowa caucus meltdown was founded by veterans of Hillary Clinton’s failed 2016 presidential campaign.

Seed money for Shadow Inc. came from ACRONYM, a progressive media nonprofit corporation founded by a political strategist who runs several companies aimed at promoting Democratic candidates.

Tara McGowan is married to a senior strategist for Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign, which records show has also paid Shadow Inc. for software.

Those connections are feeding conspiracy theories among some Democrats that something was fishy with the app — ill feelings the Trump camp is looking to stoke.

Some caucus organizers were forced to call in results for the state party to record manually, introducing delays and the possibility for human error.

Party officials say there was no indication of a security breach and their systems were secure.

Iowa’s coveted position as the first-in-the-nation nominating contest faces its most daunting challenge in decades in light of problems that kept the state Democratic Party from reporting results, leaving the world watched for the first sign of candidate strength Monday night.

The caucuses were already facing plenty of headwinds amid criticism that the overwhelmingly white state isn’t representative of the country’s diversity.

And the final weeks of the campaign were complicated by Trump’s impeachment trial, which sidelined several candidates and left Iowa eerily quiet at a pivotal moment.

But the Iowa Democratic Party’s failure to release results left the contest, long criticized for its complicated rules, one step closer to losing its status.

For Americans following along on cable TV, Monday’s Iowa caucuses were a bewildering carnival of democracy - until it all went sour.

The failure of Democrats to report timely results meant viewers went to bed not knowing what it all meant.

During the coverage, reporters used to sifting through reams of scientific voting data were instead wandering around rec rooms and auditoriums, counting raised hands or estimating the size of clusters of people in bleachers.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez wants "absolute transparent accounting" of the technological meltdown that led to delayed results from Monday's leadoff Iowa caucuses.

Perez said in a statement Tuesday that "what happened last night should never happen again."

Saying it was “clear” the app used to tally caucus results failed, Perez called on the vendor to “provide absolute transparent accounting" of what happened.

Perez says the party has staff “working around the clock” to help count remaining votes.

Iowa Democrats’ botched deployment of the app has led other early states to try to reassure the public about their plans for the presidential primary.

The brunt of the scrutiny is falling on Nevada, which planned to use similar technology at its caucuses in less than three weeks.

Nevada Democrats scrapped plans to use similar technology at their caucuses.

New Hampshire and South Carolina, which both hold primaries instead of caucuses, say they have a similar faith in their well-tested systems.

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