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Buttigieg, Sanders, on top as Iowa Democratic Party releases more caucus results

ABC News(DES MOINES, Iowa) — The Iowa Democratic Party released more caucus results early Thursday morning, more than two days after polls closed following a problem-plagued night of voting.With 97% of precincts reporting, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders both had 26% of the vote, according to the Iowa Democratic Party. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren had 18%, former Vice President Joe Biden had 16% and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar had 12% of the vote.Iowa’s caucusgoers were without results late Monday night and much of Tuesday after technical issues and confusion on the ground upended the vaunted caucuses. The ensuing chaos cast a pall over what has traditionally been a high-spirited start to the Democratic primary season and raised questions about the impact of the Hawkeye State’s first-in-the-nation status going forward.Absent those full results, none of the candidates who crisscrossed Iowa leading up to the caucuses, making nearly 400 stops collectively, with more than 330 days spent in the Hawkeye State while holding more than 2,300 events and spending millions of dollars in ads and on campaign events, saw a return on their investment by having their “moment.”Further, the problems that plagued Monday night’s caucuses raised for both the campaigns and voters serious concerns about the accuracy of counting highly-sought after delegates whose role is important in counting toward the number of pledged delegates needed to win the nomination at the Democratic National Convention. The total number of pledged delegates needed to win the nomination and become the presumptive nominee is 1,991.Buttigieg’s team was quick to claim victory.”Just in case you haven’t been glued to your phone last few minutes, I want you to hear something from me,” Buttigieg said Tuesday at a campaign rally in Laconia, New Hampshire. “A little later than we anticipated, but better late than never. Official verified caucus results are coming in from the state of Iowa. They’re not complete, but results are in from a majority of precincts, and they show our campaign in first place.””We want to thank the people of Iowa,” Sanders senior adviser Jeff Weaver said in a statement. “We are gratified that in the partial data released so far it’s clear that in the first and second round more people voted for Bernie than any other candidate in the field.”Despite his 16%, Biden said he was hopeful about the road ahead.”Now there are a lot of votes left to cast in the campaign, and I’m going to fight for every single one of them,” Biden said in a fundraising email. “But, I’m going to need your help to do that.”The Trump campaign seized on Biden’s vote total, saying he “got beat like a drum” in an email to supporters.Ahead of the release, Iowa Democratic Party Chair Tony Price sought to offer accountability on the technical issues that led to a protracted delay in caucus results while stressing that backup systems were successful.”The thing to remember here, folks, is that we have a paper trail … We have backups to this system,” he said. “We have redundancies built in.”On Monday night, “inconsistencies” became clear as precinct caucus results started coming in and they were run through an accuracy and quality check, according to Price, who noted that the “underlying cause of these inconsistencies was not immediately clear, and required investigation, which took time.”Price previously said the pre-planned backup measures of calling in results and entering the data manually “took longer than expected.” Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.