It's Iowa's nightmare scenario revisited: An extraordinarily close count in the Iowa caucuses — and reports of chaos in precincts, website glitches and coin flips to decide county delegates — are raising questions about accuracy of the count and winner.Keep reading.
This time it's the Democrats, not the Republicans.
Even as Hillary Clinton trumpeted her Iowa win in New Hampshire on Tuesday, aides for Bernie Sanders said the eyelash-thin margin raised questions and called for a review. The chairwoman of the Iowa Democratic Party rejected that notion, saying the results are final.
The situation echoes the events on the Republican side in the 2012 caucuses, when one winner (Mitt Romney, by eight votes) was named on caucus night, but a closer examination of the paperwork that reflected the head counts showed someone else pulled in more votes (Rick Santorum, by 34 votes). But some precincts were still missing entirely.
Like Republican Party officials in 2012, Democratic Party officials worked into the early morning on caucus night trying to account for results from a handful of tardy precincts.
At 2:30 a.m. Tuesday, Iowa Democratic Party Chairwoman Andy McGuire announced that Clinton had eked out a slim victory, based on results from 1,682 of 1,683 precincts.
Voters from the final missing Democratic precinct tracked down party officials Tuesday morning to report their results. Sanders won that precinct, Des Moines precinct No. 42, by two delegate equivalents over Clinton.
The Iowa Democratic Party said the updated final tally of delegate equivalents for all the precincts statewide was:
That's a 3.77-count margin between Clinton, the powerful establishment favorite who early on in the Democratic race was expected to win in a virtual coronation, and Sanders, a democratic socialist who few in Iowa knew much about a year ago.
Sanders campaign aides told the Register they've found some discrepancies between tallies at the precinct level and numbers that were reported to the state party. The Iowa Democratic Party determines its winner based not on a head count, like in the Republican caucuses, but on state delegate equivalents, tied to a math formula. And there was enough confusion, and untrained volunteers on Monday night, that errors may have been made...
Remember, Pat Caddell warned that the Democrats will never release the raw vote totals, because they'd show the Bernie won the popular voted. The system is rigged!
Plus, more from Ms. Jacobs:
Results from the 1 missing Dem precinct: Sanders won by 2.— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) February 2, 2016
But voters can't find any party officials to report to. https://t.co/jB0sDxd3oZ
BREAKING: Sanders won 7, Clinton 5 in final missing precinct, chair tells me.— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) February 2, 2016
Did Sanders win popular vote in Iowa? https://t.co/jB0sDxd3oZ
With missing results, Clinton's excruciatingly close lead narrows. Voters report "chaos" and untrained volunteers. https://t.co/jB0sDxd3oZ— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) February 2, 2016
The missing Democratic votes are now logged, making the score in the Iowa caucuses:— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) February 2, 2016
Sanders voters: Will @iowademocrats show raw body count? Re-examine precinct paperwork? (This is CLOSER than when GOP got 2012 winner wrong)— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) February 2, 2016