Sanders, Buttigieg still in dead heat for state; DNC calls for canvass

Sanders has a lead in first preference, and reallocated preference voting, but could end up with less delegates

BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
PCC STAFF

FORT MADISON – Pressure from national Democratic officials is coming to bear on the Iowa Democratic Party, as calls for a recanvass surfaced Thursday morning.

In a tweet this morning, Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez said the issues with the Iowa Caucus had gone on long enough.

“Enough is enough. In light of the problems that have emerged in the implementation of the delegate selection plan and in order to assure public confidence in the results, I am calling on the Iowa Democratic Party to immediately begin a recanvass,” Perez tweeted.

There’s been no answer on the Iowa Democratic Party website to Perez’s request and there are still 3% of precincts unreported as well as satellite caucus sites, which could be the determining factor in the state’s race.

As of 3 p.m. Thursday with 97% of the results released, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders had closed the gap on South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg to just three state delegate equivalents, or .2%. Buttigieg stands at 550 with Sanders reportedly behind by three at 547. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Vice President Joe Biden are still 3rd and 4th in the delegate count with 381 and 331 respectively.

In Lee County, Buttigieg was 2.2 delegate equivalents over second place Biden and well in front of Sanders and Warren.

Recanvassing would require a hand-audit of all the ballots, a move that the Iowa Democratic Party said they were already in the middle of after learning of the reporting app’s errors.

“We owe it to the thousands of Iowa Democratic volunteers and caucusgoers to remain focused on collecting and reviewing incoming results,” said IDP Chair Troy Price said, noting that officials “identified inconsistencies in the data and used our redundant paper records to promptly correct those errors. This is an ongoing process in close coordination with precinct chairs, and we are working diligently to report the final 54 precincts to get as close to final reporting as possible.”

Iowa caucuses are based on state delegates and not on popular vote, but for the first time, the Iowa Democratic Party is revealing a first-preference count, and a reallocated preference which happens after realignments are done at each caucus precinct.

In voters’ first preference tally at the caucuses, Sanders had 24.7 percent, or 42,672 votes, and Buttigieg took 21.3 percent, or 36,718 votes.

In voters’ reallocated preference, Sanders had 26.5 percent, or 44,753 votes, and Buttigieg had 25 percent, or 42,235 votes.

In Scott County, part of the Quad Cities, the two were dead even at 31.82 delegate equivalents each, a telling story as to how tight the race has turned out.

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