Sanders declares victory in Iowa caucus as final results trail in

PHOTO by Gage Skidmore. U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders walking in the Independence Day parade with supporters in Ames, Iowa. July, 2019. CC/by-sa/2.0/

Bernie Sanders today declared victory in Iowa's bungled headcount of Democratic voters, with the latest results putting him neck-and-neck with Pete Buttigieg. It was already clear he had the most votes, but Iowa Democrats' abstruse "caucus math" had awarded Buttigieg an advantage in delegates earlier in the count.

"With 97 percent of precincts now reporting, the results showed South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg with 26.2 percent of state delegate equivalents and Sanders with 26.1 percent," reported The Hill's Kyle Balluck. "Sanders, however, is leading in the final alignment votes tally, though the share of delegates is considered the most important metric of the Iowa results."

When asked why he was declaring victory despite the neck-and-neck delegate count, he told reporters "because I got 6,000 more votes."

In any case, both candidates did well on the night, with Elizabeth Warren running a close third. But it was a "gut punch" for supposed front-runner Joe Biden, trailing a distant fourth.