Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders were virtually tied Wednesday in the latest results for the Iowa Democratic presidential caucuses.
With 97% of the precincts reporting, Buttigieg, former mayor of South Bend, Ind., held 26.2% of the state delegates, followed by Sanders, the Vermont senator, at 26.1%; Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, 18.2%; former Vice President Joe Biden, 15.8%; and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, 12.2%.
A computer software breakdown has turned the party’s opening contest of the 2020 presidential race into a fiasco. Precinct leaders could not report results through an app because it malfunctioned. When they called a backup hotline, many could not get through because the number had been shared on social media and President Trump’s supporters had called and tied up the phone lines, according to a person with direct knowledge of what happened.
It remained unclear when the Iowa Democratic Party would complete its tally of the results from its Monday night caucuses. Some results were put in the mail and had not yet arrived at party headquarters.
The party’s delay in counting votes has deprived those who performed best the customary burst of momentum that Iowa produces in the week before the New Hampshire primary.
On Wednesday, the state party released two batches of results. After the first update of the tally, it posted a notice on Twitter that there would be “a minor correction” momentarily, adding to the exasperation of Sanders campaign manager Faiz Shakir and many others.
“Wanted: competence,” Shakir tweeted.
The Democratic National Committee has stepped in to assist the state party in completing the count.
“What happened … in Iowa should never happen again,” DNC Chairman Tom Perez said. “We have staff working around the clock to assist the Iowa Democratic Party to ensure that all votes are counted.”