On Thursday evening, three days after the Iowa caucuses, former Mayor Pete Buttigieg declared victory.
The final numbers appeared to come in just as Buttigieg was taking the stage at a CNN town hall where he was asked about the results.
“Well, that’s fantastic news,” said the former Mayor of South Bend, Indiana. “This is a campaign that a year ago, I think a lot of people were questioning why we were even making the attempt. To see over the course of that year having started with four people on the staff of the committee, we had this little cramped office […] no national name recognition, no personal fortune, no big email list […] we just had this idea that we could build a different kind of politics of belonging based on bringing people together and to see how that led to that win for us in Iowa is fantastic.”
In an email to supporters his campaign stated “with 100% of the precincts reporting, Pete is the winner of the Iowa causes.”
While that is technically true there will be an asterisk next to his win for now since media outlets are not declaring a winner.
The Associated Press announced they were unable to declare who won because of the irregularities in the caucus. Sincethe caucus has been marred by inconsistencies and a delay in reporting. The first results weren’t even reported until Wednesday at 5 p.m.
Currently Buttigieg leads Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders by less than one-tenth of one percentage point.
Hours before the final result trickled in Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez called for a recanvassing of the Iowa caucus results.
“Enough is enough,” Perez tweeted Thursday. “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.”
Regardless of the final outcome, Buttigieg’s showing is historic for an openly gay candidate. He and the other candidates have since moved on to the next contest, Feb. 11, in New Hampshire.
Meanwhile Sanders also declared victory in Iowa on Thursday, before the final results were released.
“What certainly is not going to change is the fact that in terms of the popular vote, we won a decisive victory,” . “Some 6,000 more Iowans came out on caucus night to support our candidacy than the candidacy of anyone else. And when 6,000 more people come out for you in an election than your nearest opponent, we here in northern New England call that a victory.”
However the traditional metric of determining the winner of the Iowa Caucus is by who receives the most “delegate equivalents,” which Buttigieg leads Sanders by about 1.5 out of more than 2,100.
Buttigieg also congratulated Sanders on his strong showing in Iowa at the CNN town hall.
“Senator Sanders clearly had a great night too and I congratulate him and his supporters,” he said.
Regardless of what the final outcome ends up being in Iowa, Buttigieg is ready to move on, saying on stage, “But I also know that we're in New Hampshire now, we have got to look ahead. New Hampshire is a state that has never been told what to do. And we've got to earn every vote and earn a win on Tuesday night right here.”
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