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Sanders Leads Popular Vote, Trails Buttigieg With Delegates

The Iowa Democratic Party released about 62% of its official caucus results on Tuesday evening which showed Sen. Bernie Sanders leading the count in the popular vote while former South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg holds a slight advantage in state delegates.

"We want to thank the people of Iowa," said Sanders advisor Jeff Weaver in a statement. "We are gratified that in the partial data released so far it's clear that in the first and second round more people voted for Bernie than any other candidate in the field."

Based on the incomplete tabulations, Sanders received 1,190 more votes than Buttigieg, but due to Iowa's caucus rules, Buttigieg received 25 more state delegates (363 to 338) as certain rural areas are weighted more heavily and allowed him to nibble into Sanders' lead.

"Since Democrats believe that it’s the popular vote that matters, this means Bernie is winning, right?" tweeted Intercept editor Glenn Greenwald.

As the New York Times explained:

Each voting precinct awards "state delegate equivalents" to the candidates in rough proportion to their vote share. The candidate with the most state delegate equivalents has traditionally been the winner of the Iowa caucuses.

"We hit a stumbling block in the back end of the reporting of the data," said Iowa Democratic Party (IDP) chair Troy Price in a brief press conference before the numbers were released. "But I want you to know the data is accurate."

Price took questions from the audience, including one man who asked, "How can we trust you now?"

The results were not announced Monday after a series of irregularities surfaced with a reporting app designed by tech company Shadow Inc., a company allied with establishment Democrats and owned by non-profit Democratic strategy firm Acronym. The IDP contracted the firm despite never testing the app and misgivings from the Department of Homeland Security over security.

Sanders, whose campaign had deployed independent caucus counters to sites across Iowa Monday night, reported different numbers earlier on Tuesday with what the campaign claimed a count representing approximately 60% of state precincts.

According to ABC Politics reporter Kendall Karson, the Democratic National Committee may be about to step in.

"One Democratic official I spoke to is being told that the DNC is 'taking over' the accounting of results," said Karson. "The official said this that to their knowledge, this has never happened before."

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