Iowa Finally Releases Maybe-Final Results

The precise distribution of 41 measly delegates is now known. Unless there's a recount.

After an embarrassing week, we seem to have the official results from the Iowa Caucuses:

The Iowa Democratic Party has released updated vote numbers and a new national delegate estimate after completing their review of 95 precincts which campaigns had flagged as potentially inaccurate.

With these updates in place, Pete Buttigieg holds a 0.1% lead over Bernie Sanders in the state delegate equivalent count, which determines the winner of the Iowa caucuses. That margin is unchanged from the previously announced results.

If there are no requests to recanvass or recount, Buttigieg would be the winner of the Iowa caucuses.According to the Iowa Democratic Party, he will claim 14 delegates. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders will receive 12, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren will get eight, former Vice President Joe Biden will receive six, and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar will get one.

The party said it has revised 55 precinct reports — 3% of precincts — after campaigns had raised some reports of inconsistencies following Monday’s caucuses.

As Steven Taylor has noted more than once, the actual numbers here are essentially irrelevant in the overall nominating picture. Still, the first-in-the-country nature has traditionally meant lots of media hype and the potential to reshape the narrative of the race. And, indeed, there’s evidence that Buttigieg’s slightly-higher-than-expected showing and Biden’s worse-than-expected showing have shaken up perceptions and maybe changed the race.

One wonders whether Sanders or Klobuchar will bother to call for a recanvass, if nothing else to mute Buttigieg’s bounce.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2020, US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. charon says:

    Final but wrong – unless the DNC acts to make them less “final.”

    The party could not change even blatant miscalculations on the worksheets, according to a lawyer for the party, because they were a legal record and altering them would be a crime.

    “The incorrect math on the Caucus Math Worksheets must not be changed to ensure the integrity of the process,” wrote the party lawyer, Shayla McCormally, according to an email sent by Troy Price, the chairman of the party, to its central committee members. The lawyer said correcting the math would introduce “personal opinion” into the official record of results.

    … because the caucus chair and secretary of each precinct had certified the results on the worksheets, along with representatives of candidates, the documents could not be readjusted without violating election law, the state party lawyer said.

    An analysis by The New York Times revealed inconsistencies in the reported data for at least one in six of the state’s precincts. Those errors occurred at every stage of the tabulation process: in recording votes, in calculating and awarding delegates, and in entering the data into the state party’s database. Hundreds of state delegate equivalents, the metric the party uses to determine delegates for the national convention, were at stake in these precincts.

    The Iowa Democratic Party released a list of 92 precincts on Sunday that it said were flagged as problematic by three presidential candidates — Mr. Sanders; Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Ind.; and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. That figure is far fewer than the number with inconsistencies captured in the Times review….

    In the Times review of the data, at least 10 percent of precincts appeared to have improperly allocated their delegates, based on reported vote totals. In some cases, precincts awarded more delegates than they had to give; in others, they awarded fewer. More than two dozen precincts appeared to give delegates to candidates who did not qualify as viable under the caucus rules.

    (I found the above at Steve M.’s NMMNB blog).

  2. charon says:

    I think everyone is ready to move on from this.

    Correction – nearly everyone. One guess who isn’t.

  3. Sleeping Dog says:

    You beat me to it. Like the sun rising in the east, the Bernie campaign is screaming victim hood again.

  4. Matt says:

    Man Sanders has some some pro level victims as supporters. Do they really not know the difference between an election and a primary or are they intentionally trying to conflate the two?

    I’m inclined to support some of Bernie’s policy positions but his fanbase can be quite the turn off. Every time they lose anything it’s always because of “corruption”..


Speak Your Mind