WIKI DAILY – With the Iowa Democratic Party unable to collect and release results after the Iowa caucuses on Monday, the campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders took it upon itself to release the numbers it collected from nearly 40 percent of precincts, tabulated by its campaign organizers.
Reports came in that the Sanders campaign received 29.7 percent of the vote, closely followed by former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 24.6 percent. Sen. Elizabeth Warren came in at 21.2 percent, and former Vice President Joe Biden was fourth at 12.4 percent. Sanders and his campaign team put those numbers out shortly after Buttigieg finished a seemingly triumphant speech in Iowa. The party said it would release the official results on Tuesday.
Sanders’s campaign adviser, Jeff Weaver, explained the decision to release the numbers in a statement. “We recognize that this does not replace the full data from the Iowa Democratic Party, but we believe firmly that our supporters worked too hard for too long to have that work delayed,” he said.
With Buttigieg’s campaign team also claimed a lead based on internal numbers, told CNBC that “data provided by 77% of the campaign’s precinct captains showed Buttigieg in the lead. The campaign aide said that internal projections before the caucus suggested that the race would be a tie, but that the internal numbers so far showed Buttigieg performing 8 percentage points better than expected, enough to win first place.”
The Sanders campaign’s decision to release its internal results came after hours of frustration with the Iowa Democratic Party, whose application contributed massively to delays in the reporting of precinct results. The Iowa Democratic Party had kept the identity of the firm that created its app under wraps, claiming that divulging details would make the app vulnerable to hacking.
Heading into the caucus, one of Sanders main campaign’s strategy clinched on high voter turnout and, in particular, converting nonvoters into voters and expanding the electorate. (At a rally in Queens, New York, this fall, Sanders said, “On caucus night, turn on the TV early, and if the moderator tells you there’s a large voter turnout, we win. If they tell you there’s a low voter turnout, we lose. It’s really as simple as that.”) Iowa is the first test for that strategy; the state was expected to see record turnout. But while no official numbers have yet been reported, party officials in Iowa said that turnout was lower than it was in 2016. Sanders’s internal figures — again, which they said reported nearly 40 percent of precincts — showed 87,396 voters for the first count of voters and 79,162 for the final count.
Buttigieg’s presumed rise in the Iowa caucus — and Biden’s fall — follow weeks of volatility in polling. Last week, as Sanders surged, Buttigieg dropped in a number of polls, falling 8 points since December in an Emerson’s Iowa poll and losing 2 points in its national poll. He stayed level at 7 percent in a Fox poll, but fell behind not only Sanders, Warren, and Biden, but also former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg. While each of the candidates gave a speech Monday night as caucus results were delayed, Buttigieg stood out for touting his own victory — even as zero percent of precinct results had yet to come in. “By all indications, we are going on to New Hampshire victorious,” Buttigieg declared.