Final caucus results: Pete Buttigieg holds on to lead after caucus recount

Nearly three and a half weeks after Iowa caucus night, the Iowa Democratic Party released results of a final recount, and the final delegate allocation hasn’t changed.


Designed by Haley Triem

Caleb McCullough, Politics Reporter

The Iowa Democratic Party announced the results of the recount of 23 precincts in a press release on Thursday, solidifying and strengthening Pete Buttigieg’s slight lead over Bernie Sanders in state delegate equivalents.

Delegate counts were corrected at 19 precincts, putting Buttigieg’s final state delegate equivalent tally at 562.954 compared to Sanders’ 562.021. Compared to the previous results — Buttigieg with 563.207 and Sanders with 563.127—both candidates lost delegates slightly, and Buttigieg increased his lead over Sanders.

The recount concludes nearly four weeks of uncertainty after a chaotic night in Iowa filled with missing results and technical errors that ended with no clear winner out of Iowa. 

The initial caucus results were riddled with inaccuracies, as reported by the Des Moines Register, the New York Times, and others, prompting both the Buttigieg and Sanders campaign to call for a recanvass, and ultimately a recount. 

Over two days beginning on Feb. 25, recount administrators and staff counted preference cards from 23 precincts to determine viability, then sorted the cards into preference groups to recreate the caucus process at each precinct. 

No change occurred in national delegate allocation, with Buttigieg holding on to 14 delegates compared to Sanders’ 12.

With the South Carolina primary coming up on Saturday and Super Tuesday just around the corner, Sanders commands a national delegate lead with 45, followed by Buttigieg with 25.

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