A spokesman for the Democratic Party in Iowa said that Pete Buttigieg leads that state’s caucus with just under two-third of the votes reported.
Buttigieg leads with 26.9 percent and Bernie Sanders is close behind at 25.1 percent of the vote. Elizabeth Warren has 18.3 percent and Joe Biden is fourth with 15.6 percent of the vote.
41 Democratic delegates are up for grabs in the Iowa caucus.
The announcement came after a series of technical errors that left voters with no results the night of the caucus and sent candidates scrambling for answers as they left the state for the next primary on the campaign trail.
“The results are unacceptable,” Iowa Democratic Chair Tony Price said. “We have been working all night in order to report results.”
Get updates on the Iowa Caucus and the investigation into ballot problems on Channel 2 Action News
Price said results from only 62 percent of the precincts were available but guaranteed their accuracy. He did not answer reporter questions on when the remaining votes would be tabulated.
WHAT ARE CAMPAIGNS SAYING?
Several campaigns jumped into the information void and announced, perhaps unsurprisingly, that according to their own data their candidate did great in Iowa. But in all of these cases the data is incomplete and may not be representative of what Iowa voters across the state decided — for example, it may under-represent rural areas, or college campuses. Plus, any campaign has an interest in releasing results that make its own candidate look good. These numbers are not reliable.
HOW WILL THIS AFFECT OTHER STATES?
Attention has already shifted to New Hampshire, which votes in a traditional primary on Feb. 11. Another caucus state — Nevada — said it will not use the same app utilized in Iowa.
Once Nevada votes on Feb. 22, things move fast. South Carolina, the final early state, votes on Feb. 29. Then a mass of 14 states that account for about one-third of the delegates up for grabs in the contest votes on March 3, known as Super Tuesday.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR IOWA?
There’s no way to know whether one specific candidate benefits from the Iowa mess. The entire primary process was already uncertain, and a new layer of uncertainty has been added without Iowa winnowing the field in its traditional way. It’s also sowed new doubts about the reliability of caucuses, which increases the pressure on Nevada, one of the only remaining caucus states. Republicans have been gleefully trying to fan Democratic division by stoking rumors online that the meltdown is a conspiracy to cripple Sanders’ insurgent campaign. In the end, though, one thing is clear — the biggest loser is probably Iowa itself, which may lose its first-in-the-nation slot over the debacle.
The results of each caucus meeting had to be tabulated on paper. Party officials went door-to-door across the state to verify the written results of each caucus meeting and check them against what was reported on the app.
WHAT WENT WRONG?
The Iowa Democratic Party says an app created to compile and report caucus results malfunctioned due to a “coding issue,” delaying the count. The party says there are no signs of hacking or other intrusion and that the underlying data is “sound.” The problem was that the app only reported partial data when the precinct chairs sent the information to party headquarters.
WERE PROBLEMS ANTICIPATED?
There were some concerns ahead of time. The caucuses were operating under new, complex rules that required the reporting of three different tiers of results and that appears to have complicated the counting.
The Iowa Democratic Party didn’t roll the app out to its 1,678 caucus locations until a few hours before the meetings began Monday night. Party officials had said they would not be sending the new mobile app to precinct chairs for downloading until just before the caucuses to narrow the window for any interference, and there wasn’t widespread pretesting by volunteers running the caucus sites.
The Associated Press contributed to this report