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Campaign 2020

Buttigieg holds narrow lead in Iowa caucuses with 100% of precincts reporting

Pete Buttigieg
AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall via CNN
Pete Buttigieg takes a selfie with supporters after speaking at a caucus night campaign rally, Monday, Feb. 3, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa.

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Pete Buttigieg held a slim lead over Bernie Sanders in the Iowa caucuses with the Iowa Democratic Party announcing on Thursday night that 100% of precincts were reporting.

The former South Bend, Indiana mayor leads the Vermont senator by two state delegate equivalents out of 2,152 counted, which is roughly one-tenth of one percentage point.

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

"That's fantastic news," Buttigieg said, reacting to the numbers during a CNN town hall on Thursday evening. "First of all, I want to say, Sen. Sanders clearly had a great night too and I congratulate him and his supporters."

However, the Associated Press said late Thursday night that it was unable to declare a winner because there was evidence the party had not accurately tabulated some of its results despite reporting those as complete.

“The Associated Press calls a race when there is a clear indication of a winner. Because of a tight margin between former Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Bernie Sanders and the irregularities in this year’s caucus process, it is not possible to determine a winner at this point," said Sally Buzbee, AP’s senior vice president and executive editor.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez has asked Iowa party leaders to conduct a re-canvass. That is not a recount, but rather a check of the vote count to ensure the results were added correctly.

Perez on Thursday sought the re-canvass following days of uncertainty about the results, which includes technology problems with the mobile phone app used by the party to collect results from caucus sites, an overwhelming number of calls to the party’s backup phone system and a subsequent delay of several days of reporting the results.

But the Iowa Democratic Party issued a statement that said it would only conduct a re-canvass if one was requested by one of the candidates.

The Democratic candidates have until 11 a.m. MT on Friday to file such a request.

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