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Buttigieg and Sanders lead in Iowa Democratic caucus results

Buttigieg and Sanders lead in Iowa Democratic caucus results
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Democratic presidential candidate former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg arrives at a watch party at Drake University on February 03, 2020 in Des Moines, Iowa.

Win McNamee | Getty Images

Former South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Bernie Sanders lead the pack in the 2020 Iowa Democratic caucuses after more than half of precincts reported delayed results Tuesday. 

Buttigieg has about 27% of support in the first-in-the-nation nominating contest, narrowly topping Sanders at 25%, according to partial data released by the Iowa Democratic Party. Sen. Elizabeth Warren follows at about 18%, followed by former Vice President Joe Biden with just under 16%. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., has more than 12% of support.

The contest is too early to call, according to NBC News.

Technical glitches with an app used to report caucus data delayed results typically released the night of the Iowa presidential caucuses, which took place Monday. Candidates started to move on to New Hampshire on Tuesday, but not before they put positive spin on the Hawkeye State outcome in the absence of official numbers.

Earlier, Iowa Democratic Party spokeswoman Mandy McClure said the organization would announce figures from a “majority” of precincts, then “continue to release the results as we are able to.”

The Iowa Democratic Party said it saw “inconsistencies” in some reported data sets that caused the delay as it worked to ensure accuracy. However, the party stressed that a cyberattack or intrusion did not cause the technological issues, and said it had paper ballots to verify results reported electronically.

In the absence of results, campaigns announced internal tallies — which can skew toward their candidates. The data suggested some combination of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., former South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., were competing at the top of the caucus field.

Buttigieg declared victory early Tuesday morning — the only candidate to do so before the state party released any data. Sanders, on the other hand, said “we’re not declaring victory” before results are released.

Multiple Democratic campaigns criticized the delay in releasing results. It fueled more calls from observers to do away with caucuses or Iowa’s first-in-the-nation status.

One campaign — former Vice President Joe Biden’s — was particularly critical of the Iowa Democrats. A Biden campaign lawyer sent a letter to the state party saying “we believe that the campaigns deserve full explanations and relevant information regarding the methods of quality control you are employing, and an opportunity to respond, before any official results are released,” NBC News reported.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

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