Sanders to call for Iowa recount after razor-thin margin on recanvass

The Iowa Democratic Party (IDP) released the results of the recanvass of its caucuses Tuesday night, giving former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg just a 0.004 percentage point lead over Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont — a razor-thin margin that's leading the Sanders campaign to request a recount.

"While it is clear that Sen. Sanders won the popular vote in Iowa by 6,000 votes, the recanvass process reduced the State Delegate Equivalent deficit by 97 percent,” Sanders campaign senior adviser Jeff Weaver said in a statement. “We now believe a recount will give Sen. Sanders enough State Delegate Equivalents to put him over the top by that metric as well. We want to thank the people of Iowa, our supporters, our volunteers and everyone who made this possible.”

Following the recanvass, in which the IDP said it corrected results in 29 precincts where either rules were misapplied, affecting delegate allocation, or final alignment results didn't "match what was on the math worksheet," Buttigieg has 563.207 state delegate equivalents and Sanders has 563.127 state delegate equivalents.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders I-Vt., has his remarks interrupted by a protestor, left, during his campaign event in Carson City, Nev.., Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders I-Vt., has his remarks interrupted by a protestor, left, during his campaign event in Carson City, Nev.., Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

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Currently, Buttigieg would receive 14 delegates to the Democratic National Convention from Iowa and Sanders would receive 12, according to the IDP's results. That could still change based on the results of a recount.

The Associated Press would not call the race based on the newly reported results, saying that "the results may still not be fully accurate and are still subject to a recount."

Campaigns have 24 hours after the release of the recanvass results Tuesday night to request a recount. Candidates may only request recounts of results that were reviewed in the recanvass process, according to the IDP.

The results of the Iowa Caucuses were delayed earlier this month after the app the party was using to tabulate the results failed and confused poll workers struggled to report the results from their precincts back to the state party. There were also significant mistakes in calculating the actual results between the "first alignment," in which voters show their initial preference for a candidate, the "final alignment" in which voters may change their votes from the first alignment after deliberation with others, and the state delegate equivalents, which are calculated based on the final alignment for each precinct.

People wait for results at a caucus night campaign rally for democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden on Monday, Feb. 3, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/John Locher)

People wait for results at a caucus night campaign rally for democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden on Monday, Feb. 3, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/John Locher)

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The fiasco angered Democratic candidates and their campaigns, drew mockery from Republicans and eventually led to the resignation of IDP Chairman Troy Price.

The unclear results have led Buttigieg and Sanders to trumpet dueling claims of victory, especially as Sanders won the "popular vote" on first and second alignment while Buttigieg leads in state delegate equivalents, the official tally the AP will use to eventually declare a "winner." The debacle has also led many to question whether Iowa should remain in its important "first-in-the-nation" spot in the primaries and to question the caucus system itself.

Some have expressed concerns that Saturday's upcoming Nevada Caucuses may be a repeat of Iowa, especially as Nevada was originally planning to use an app to report results, like Iowa. But Democratic National Committee's spokeswoman Xochitl Hinojosa told Fox News that Nevada Democrats had learned from Iowa's mistakes.

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“I have confidence in the state party here,” she said from the spin room in Las Vegas where the Democratic candidates will debate Wednesday. “I have spent the last few days with them and I have seen firsthand that they do want to get this right. They want to make sure that they have accurate reporting.”

Nevada Democrats scrapped plans to use a smartphone app and are instead using iPads to submit results through a Google web form.

Fox News' Andrew Craft, Brie Stimson and Samuel Chamberlain contributed to this report.