Buttigieg's Iowa Lead Almost Gone After Recanvassing

Sanders is now just 0.04% behind
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 19, 2020 5:05 AM CST
Sanders Campaign Wants Recount in Iowa
In this Feb. 3, 2020 photo, a volunteer holds a Presidential Preference Card before the start of a Democratic caucus at Hoover High School, in Des Moines, Iowa.   (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

The Democratic National Convention begins on July 13—and by then, a clear winner from the Iowa caucuses may have emerged. After a recanvass, the Iowa Democratic Party released results from the Feb. 3 caucuses Tuesday that reduced Pete Buttigieg's narrow lead over Bernie Sanders in state delegate equivalents to 0.04%, Politico reports. Sanders has 563.127 SDEs to Buttigieg's 563.207, according to the latest figures. Sanders won the popular vote and the first-choice alignment count among caucus voters. Campaign adviser Jeff Weaver says the Sanders campaign has asked for a recount, and they believe it will "put him over the top by that metric as well."

The recanvass requested at 81 of Iowa's 1,678 precincts changed the results of 29 of them, the Des Moines Register reports. The recanvass involved checking "caucus math worksheets" to see whether the conversion of supporter totals to SDEs had been correctly calculated, while the recount will involve the more laborious process of checking whether the supporter totals precinct leaders recorded were correct, reports the New York Times. To win the Democratic nomination, a candidate will need around 2,000 delegates to support them at the convention. As the Iowa results currently stand, Buttigieg has 14 delegates from the state and Sanders has 12. It will be 13-13 if a recount determines that Sanders won the SDE count. (More Iowa caucuses stories.)

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