Buttigieg, Sanders separated by sliver in Iowa after recanvass

Buttigieg, Sanders separated by sliver in Iowa after recanvass
© Greg Nash

Former Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegButtigieg hits back after parental leave criticism: 'Really strange' The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by The Conference of Presidents of Major Italian American Organizations - US opens to vaccinated visitors as FDA panel discusses boosters Tucker Carlson mocks Buttigieg over paternity leave MORE and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders, Manchin escalate fight over .5T spending bill Sanders blames media for Americans not knowing details of Biden spending plan Briahna Joy Gray: Proposals favored by Black voters 'first at the chopping block' in spending talks MORE (I-Vt.) are separated by thousandths of a percentage point in Iowa after the state Democratic Party completed a recanvass of several precincts from this month’s caucuses.

The new results, posted online by the Iowa Democratic Party (IDP), cut down Buttigieg’s already slim lead in state delegate equivalents over Sanders, though the former South Bend, Ind., mayor still maintains an edge over the Vermont senator.

Buttigieg leads Sanders by .08 state delegate equivalents — 26.186 percent for Buttigieg to 26.182 percent for Sanders. Buttigieg had previously led by two state delegate equivalents after the tally was first fully reported.

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Sanders continues to lead in the popular vote count, garnering 45,831 votes to Buttigieg's 43,273.

Buttigieg retains his 14-12 advantage in delegates to the Democratic National Convention due to caucus rules regarding delegate allocation. However, that result could change if either campaign asks for a recount. Both campaigns now have 24 hours to officially request a recount.

Sanders’s campaign indicated it would ask for a recount, a significantly more intensive vote tallying process than a recanvass. His campaign team expressed confidence a recount would put the senator over the edge.

“We now believe a recount will give Sen. Sanders enough State Delegate Equivalents to put him over the top by that metric as well,” said Jeff Weaver, a senior adviser for Sanders’s campaign, noting Sanders’s lead in the popular votes. “We want to thank the people of Iowa, our supporters, our volunteers and everyone who made this possible.”

Buttigieg’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill. 

The recanvass examined results across 81 precincts. Results from 29 precincts were changed, including 26 for misapplication of the rules and three for mismatches between caucus math worksheets and tallies on the IDP results page, according to a memo circulated by the state party. 

The results from Iowa’s caucuses over two weeks ago were mired in controversy after reporting inconsistencies thrust the results into question. Much of the turmoil was fueled by a new reporting app that was intended to streamline the vote-tallying process but instead showed inconsistencies in the outcomes it was tabulating.

The ensuing chaos led to both Buttigieg and Sanders claiming victory and recriminations from officials that both the IDP and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) bore responsibility over bungling the caucuses.

The botched caucuses cost the job of Troy Price, the former IDP chair who was replaced by state Rep. Mark Smith, and thrust DNC Chairman Tom PerezThomas PerezClinton’s top five vice presidential picks Government social programs: Triumph of hope over evidence Labor’s 'wasteful spending and mismanagement” at Workers’ Comp MORE into the spotlight over allegations that the national party organization took insufficient blame for the controversy.