Buttigieg, Sanders separated by thousandths of a point after Iowa recanvass
“We now believe a recount will give Sen. Sanders enough State Delegate Equivalents to put him over the top by that metric as well. We want to thank the people of Iowa, our supporters, our volunteers and everyone who made this possible,” Sanders senior adviser Jeff Weaver said in the statement.
In the results posted by the Iowa Democratic Party, Buttigieg still had 14 delegates to the national convention to 12 for Sanders — a result that could flip after a recount. Sanders maintains his lead in the final alignment of the popular vote, as well as the first-choice alignment that preceded it.
“Look, it would have obviously been much better for the people of Iowa and people of this country to learn the results the night of the Iowa caucuses. But we have pursued the audit remedies that were available to us and we believe it will come in our direction,” Weaver told POLITICO.
The Buttigieg campaign declined to comment.
The Associated Press said the race would remain uncalled for now. “AP remains unable to declare a winner based on the available information, as the results may still not be fully accurate and are still subject to a recount,” read an advisory from the wire service on Tuesday. “AP will continue to monitor the race, including the results of that potential recount.”
The Iowa caucuses have been marred by controversy since the vote on Feb. 3. On caucus night, an app developed to help transmit results failed, leading to a delay reporting results. But once results started to come in, journalists and caucus watchers noted that the party’s official tallies appeared to be rife with mistakes — both recording errors from the party and apparent mathematical miscalculations on precinct worksheets. A review by The New York Times last week found apparent errors in about 10 percent of precincts.
The Iowa Democratic Party recanvass examined results in 81 precincts, according to a summary memo circulated by the state party on Tuesday. Twenty-nine precincts saw changed results, including 26 “because the precinct misapplied the rules” and three because the caucus math worksheets did not match “what was reported on the IDP results page.”
Notably, the recanvass did not address one major complaint raised by the Buttigieg campaign: that the number of state delegate equivalents awarded in satellite caucuses was “miscalculated and misreported.” The recanvass committee determined that “the reason for the request was outside of the scope of a recanvass.”
The chaos in Iowa claimed the job of now-former state party chair Troy Price. State Rep. Mark Smith was elected to fill the role over the weekend. The botched caucus has also blown back on the Democratic National Committee and DNC Chairman Tom Perez as well, with the DNC and the state party feuding behind the scenes over the allocation of blame for the caucus problems.
Holly Otterbein and Elena Schneider contributed to this report.