(PM) — Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg took a slight lead over U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders as 100 per cent of the results from the Iowa caucuses were reported on Thursday evening, just hours after a top national Democratic Party official called for a recanvass.
Buttigieg, a former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, lead by a narrow margin of 26.2 per cent among state delegate equivalents, the metric used to determine the number of delegates that will represent a candidate at the Democratic National Convention when the party chooses a nominee.
At 26.1 per cent, Vermont’s Sanders is just behind. The senator earlier on Thursday claimed victory at a campaign event in New Hampshire, where candidates are vying to win votes in the second nominating contest of the 2020 election.
Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts finished in third place with 18 per cent of the state delegate equivalents. Former vice president Joe Biden, who has been considered one of the national frontrunners, took 15.8 per cent at fourth place, a poor showing he earlier described as a “gut punch”.
The results come after an unprecedented delay following technical errors largely blamed on a new phone app used to tally the complicated caucus precinct results. DNC Chairman Tom Perez called for a recanvass of votes in Iowa due to concerns surrounding inconsistencies in the tally.
The Democratic candidates have until 1 p.m. ET on Friday to file a request for a recanvass or a recount.
Buttigieg was first to react to the results on stage at a CNN Town Hall program, calling it “fantastic news”. The first openly gay leading presidential nominee appeared to claim a victory Monday night before results had started to release, citing internal campaign numbers.
“First of all, I want to say, Senator Sanders clearly had a great night too and I congratulate him and his supporters,” Buttigieg said.
More details to follow.