AP declares Clinton winner over Sanders in Iowa

Getty Images

The Associated Press has declared Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonWarren to go on attack for Clinton Lobbyists hopeful for Clinton thaw DNC event calendar MORE the winner of Iowa's Democratic caucuses.

The AP made the call after 1 p.m. Tuesday as Clinton maintained a 0.2 percentage point lead on Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders camp pondered asking DNC for private plane Warren to go on attack for Clinton Priebus: Wasserman Schultz resignation was ‘inevitable’ MORE with all of Iowa's 1,683 precincts reporting.

ADVERTISEMENT
The state Democratic Party had earlier declared Clinton the winner of 2016's first presidential contest by the razor-thin margin, but most media outlets held off on declaring her the winner, saying it remained too close to call. The party's results website shows Clinton beating Sanders 49.8 percent to 49.6 percent.

"I won and I lost there, it’s a lot better to win," Clinton said Tuesday at a campaign appearance in Nashua, N.H.

An aide for Sanders said Tuesday morning that the campaign was "still assessing" whether to ask the state party for a recount, according to the AP. Such a move would not be unprecedented in Iowa.

A Democratic aide told The Hill that there was no provision for a recount in the Iowa caucuses.

And a full-fledged recount would be nearly impossible, because voters signal their support by for a candidate by where they stand during the caucus.

Those conditions cannot be exactly recreated, but the Sanders campaign has called for a release of the raw voting numbers at each precinct site. Typically, Democrats only report the number of delegates each candidate wins per site.

Close results aren't unusual in Iowa, and many media outlets declared Mitt Romney the winner of the Republican caucuses in 2012 until Rick Santorum ultimately beat him by 34 votes after a final count two weeks later. 

Clinton's campaign claimed victory Monday night with 0.2-point edge, with 95 percent of precincts reporting, while Sanders said it was effectively a tie in a race where Clinton has for months been the favorite to win. 

The chairwoman of the Iowa Democratic Party, Andy McGuire, said in a statement that the results represented "an historically close" contest in the state — the closest results in history. 

According to final precinct results announced by the state Democratic Party, Clinton received 700.59 state delegate equivalents to Sanders's 696.82. Martin O'Malley, who suspended his campaign shortly after results started coming in Monday, got 7.61.

Separately, the Iowa Democratic Party in the early morning hours Tuesday denied accusations from Sanders's campaign that it failed to staff many caucus sites in the closer-than-expected battle with Clinton.

Clinton's campaign welcomed news from the party early Tuesday morning that Clinton squeaked out a victory with all but one of the precincts being counted. 

Ben Kamisar and Lisa Hagen contributed.

More in Presidential races

CBS retracts report of Sanders aide floating two-sided caucus coins

Read more »