AP UPDATE: US--Election 2020-Iowa Results

Feb 9, 2020

The Iowa Democrats' app contributed to the failure to transmit caucus results.
Credit Alex Wong / Getty Images

The Associated Press has reviewed updated results of the Iowa caucuses provided Sunday evening by the Iowa Democratic Party and has decided that it remains unable to declare a winner based on the available information. The results, AP continues to believe, may not be fully accurate and are still subject to potential revision.

Following the Iowa Democratic Party's release of new results, with 100% of precincts reporting, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg leads Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders by two state delegate equivalents out of 2,152 counted. That is a margin of 0.09 percentage points. The IDP is assigning 14 delegates to Buttigieg and 12 to Sanders. Sen. Elizabeth Warren gets 8, former V.P. Joe Biden is awarded 6 and Sen. Amy Klobuchar gets 1 delegate.

However, there is still some evidence the party may not have accurately tabulated some of its results, including those released late Sunday following a series of revisions.

Further, candidates have until 1 p.m. ET on Monday to request a recanvass, a deadline that was extended by the party from Friday. A recanvass is not a recount, but a check of the vote count to ensure the results were added correctly.

Sen. Bernie Sanders' campaign plans to ask for a “partial recanvass” of the results of last week's Iowa caucuses. A campaign aide confirmed the plans Sunday night, ahead of a Monday deadline for candidates to ask the Iowa Democratic Party to recanvass the results.

A recanvass is not a recount, but a check of the vote count to ensure the results were added correctly.  The state party released updated results on Sunday showing Pete Buttigieg leading Sanders by two state delegate equivalents.

AP will continue to monitor the race, including the results of any potential recanvass or recount.

Unlike a government-run primary election, the Iowa caucuses are an event run by the Iowa Democratic Party. For the first time, the party in 2020 released three sets of results from its caucuses: the "first alignment" and "final alignmees. Previously, it released only the tally of state delegate equivalents.

During the caucuses, voters arriving at their caucus site filled out a card that lists their first choice; those results determine the "first alignment." Caucusgoers whose first-choice candidate failed to get at least 15% of the vote at their caucus site could switch their support to a different candidate. After they had done so, the results were tabulated again to determine the caucus site's "final alignment."

The final alignment votes were then used to calculate the number of state convention delegates — or "state delegate equivalents" — awarded to each candidate. There is evidence the party did not accurately tabulate some final alignment votes or correctly award state delegate equivalents in some precincts.

AP has always declared the winner of the Iowa caucuses based on the number of state delegate equivalents each candidate receives. That's because Democrats choose their overall nominee based on delegates. While the first alignment and final alignment provide insight into the process, state delegate equivalents have the most direct bearing on the metric Democrats use to pick their nominee.