Missing precinct scrambles to report Sanders won
By JENNIFER JACOBS
Votes from one precinct in Iowa were still missing Tuesday morning, and Democrats from that neighborhood scrambled to find party officials so that they could report their tally: Bernie Sanders won by 2 delegates over Hillary Clinton.
With Des Moines precinct No. 42’s results, Clinton’s excruciatingly close lead narrowed further, making the final tally for delegate equivalents in the Democratic Iowa caucuses:
It quickly raised questions about whether Sanders had won the popular vote in Iowa. Sanders backers called for Iowa Democratic Party officials to release the raw vote totals.
“It’s important considering how close the race is. We need to be sure everyone has our accurate count,” Jill Joseph, a rank-and-file Democratic voter who backed Sanders in at No. 42 Monday night, told The Des Moines Register.
Party officials had worked into the early morning Tuesday trying to account for results from a handful of tardy precincts in the extremely close presidential caucus race between Sanders and Clinton.
But they announced that Clinton had eked out a slim victory, based on results from 1,682 of 1,683 precincts.
Team Clinton quickly embraced that news, and flatly stated that nothing could change it.
Party Chairwoman Andy McGuire in the 2:30 a.m. statement said: “Hillary Clinton has been awarded 699.57 state delegate equivalents, Bernie Sanders has been awarded 695.49 state delegate equivalents, Martin O’Malley has been awarded 7.68 state delegate equivalents and uncommitted has been awarded .46 state delegate equivalents. We still have outstanding results in one precinct – Des Moines 42 – which is worth 2.28 state delegate equivalents. We will report that final precinct when we have confirmed those results with the chair.”
Clinton’s Iowa campaign director Matt Paul said in a statement at 2:35 a.m.: “Hillary Clinton has won the Iowa Caucus. After thorough reporting – and analysis – of results, there is no uncertainty and Secretary Clinton has clearly won the most national and state delegates. Statistically, there is no outstanding information that could change the results and no way that Senator Sanders can overcome Secretary Clinton’s advantage.”
McGuire could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday morning.
The scene at precinct No. 42 was “chaos” Monday night, Joseph told the Register. None of the 400-plus Democrats wanted wanted to be in charge of the caucus, so a man who had shown up just to vote reluctantly stepped forward. As Joseph was leaving with the untrained caucus chairman, who is one of her neighbors, “I looked at him and said, ‘Who called in the results of our caucus?’ And we didn’t know.”