Buttigieg again claims victory after partial Iowa results show him leading

Buttigieg again claims victory after partial Iowa results show him leading
© Greg Nash
Former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegChasten Buttigieg: DC 'almost unaffordable' JD Vance takes aim at culture wars, childless politicians Poll: 73 percent of Democratic voters would consider voting for Biden in the 2024 primary MORE touted partial results from the Iowa caucuses showing him narrowly leading the Democratic field, linking it to his historic candidacy as a gay millennial.
 
"It validates for a kid somewhere in a community wondering if he belongs or she belongs or they belong in their own family," Buttigieg told a crowd of supporters in Laconia, N.H.
 
Buttigieg is the first openly gay candidate to mount a major presidential campaign and could become the first openly gay candidate to win the Iowa caucuses.
 
Results from 62 percent of Iowa's precincts released by the Iowa Democratic Party showed Buttigieg leading with 28 percent of the delegates who will eventually be elected to the national convention. He was trailed closely by Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersAngst grips America's most liberal city Democrats warn shrinking Biden's spending plan could backfire Democrats say they have the votes to advance .5T budget measure MORE (I-Vt.) with 25 percent.

The results are not final and were released a day after technical errors delayed the Iowa vote count by almost a day. The Iowa Democratic Party's chairman, Troy Price, said earlier that he did not have a timeline for when the final results would be released.

Buttigieg had faced strong criticism from rivals after appearing to declare victory on Monday night, even as no results from the caucuses had been released.

Addressing supporters on Tuesday, Buttigieg touted the early results in a version of his speech he gave on Monday night in Des Moines.

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"Just in case you haven't been glued to your phone for the last few minutes, I want you to hear something from me," Buttigieg said on Tuesday. 

"Results are in from a majority of precincts, and they show our campaign in first place," he said to cheers. 

The partial results showed Buttigieg's chief rival for the moderate mantel of the party, former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenCDC chief clarifies vaccine comments: 'There will be no nationwide mandate' Overnight Defense: First group of Afghan evacuees arrives in Virginia | Biden signs Capitol security funding bill, reimbursing Guard | Pentagon raises health protection level weeks after lowering it Biden urges local governments to stave off evictions MORE, placing fourth, behind Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenCalifornia Democrats warn of low turnout in recall election Pelosi disputes Biden's power to forgive student loans Warren hits the airwaves for Newsom ahead of recall election MORE (D-Mass).