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The Associated Press ‘is unable to declare a winner’ in Iowa.

The Associated Press ‘is unable to declare a winner’ in Iowa.

The Associated Press “is unable to declare a winner” of the Iowa caucuses, it announced Thursday evening. Former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont are virtually tied with results in from 97 percent of precincts.

It is very easy, at this point, to imagine a situation in which we know who won New Hampshire — which holds its primary on Tuesday — before we know who won Iowa.

Like most news outlets (including The New York Times), The A.P. is basing its Iowa calculations on the number of state delegate equivalents each candidate won, not on the raw number of supporters at the beginning or end of the caucuses. Mr. Sanders has a clearer lead on those measures, but it is delegates that will ultimately determine the presidential nomination — and in terms of delegates, he and Mr. Buttigieg are separated by a fraction of a percentage point.

Technology problems have marred the reporting process all week. Results from some satellite caucuses have yet to be released. And even before the Iowa Democratic Party has finished its initial tabulation, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee is calling on officials to do another one.

“The Associated Press calls a race when there is a clear indication of a winner,” Sally Buzbee, The A.P.’s senior vice president and executive editor, said in a statement. “Because of a tight margin between former Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Senator Bernie Sanders and the irregularities in this year’s caucus process, it is not possible to determine a winner at this point.”

The winner of the Iowa Democratic caucuses might come down to one not-so-simple question: How many state delegate equivalents does a satellite caucus get?

Widespread use of satellite caucuses is a new feature of the 2020 race. The Iowa Democratic Party, responding to calls to make the process more accessible, allowed people to apply to hold them wherever there were groups of Democrats who wished to participate but otherwise couldn’t, such as at universities, hospitals, out-of-state military installations or overseas. It was a mystery then who might stand to benefit.

It’s now clear that Senator Bernie Sanders has benefited. In the final preference vote in satellite caucuses, he defeated Pete Buttigieg by a staggering margin of 47 to 7 percent.

But what is not clear is how many state delegates that’s worth. Party documents lay out conflicting ways to award delegates, and the contest is so close that the small difference matters a lot. And since this was the first time the Iowa Democratic Party released Iowa satellite caucus results with tabulated vote tallies, it was not even known until Wednesday night that it could be unclear. Read more here.

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Credit…Alyssa Schukar for The New York Times

Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., announced on Thursday that he had received 63,841 donations totaling $2.73 million in the three days since his strong showing in the Iowa caucuses.

In an email to supporters, Mr. Buttigieg cast these numbers both as evidence of momentum and as insufficient in the face of the more than $25 million Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont raised in January. Mr. Buttigieg has not announced how much money he raised last month.

“Bernie is still first in the polls in New Hampshire, and we’re being massively outraised by his campaign,” Mr. Buttigieg wrote. “Can you make a donation today to help us take on Bernie in New Hampshire? He’s got one of the most well-funded organizations in politics and has been building his email list for years.”

Mr. Buttigieg’s lead over Mr. Sanders in the state delegate count in Iowa has almost vanished as more results have come in, and his rhetoric has noticeably shifted.

Three days after declaring victory based solely on internal numbers, he wrote in his email, “Although we don’t know the results of the caucuses quite yet, we do know this — folks from all walks of life are excited about what this campaign stands for and what we’ll do for the future of our nation.”

Credit…Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

A child colored with markers during Senator Elizabeth Warren’s visit to a day care center in Exeter, N.H.

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MERRIMACK, N.H. — Former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., seemed to tone down his rhetoric about Iowa’s caucus results Thursday, backing off from his previous declaration of victory and instead saying his campaign was “absolutely electrified” heading into the New Hampshire primary.

Mr. Buttigieg appeared Thursday afternoon at his only public event of the day, an event targeted at New Hampshire veterans. Mr. Buttigieg is the only veteran in the race’s top tier, and he touted that experience as uniquely qualifying for the presidency.

Citing New Hampshire’s history of backing a different candidate than Iowa, he said he understood he could not coast to victory here.

“I am also mindful & humbled by the fact that New Hampshire is New Hampshire, and New Hampshire is not the kind of place to let Iowa or anybody else tell you what to do,” Mr. Buttigieg said to laughs.

He added that the state “famously thinks for itself.”

Tom Perez, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, mentioned a “recanvass” when he demanded that Iowa Democrats double-check votes from the Iowa caucuses. There is also the possibility of a “recount.”

What’s the difference? In short: A recanvass involves checking the math on 1,756 precinct work sheets. A recount would require the hand-counting of about 180,000 preference cards from caucusgoers across the state and around the world.

Read on for more about how we got to this point, and what would most likely happen if a recanvass or recount occurs.

Credit…Todd Heisler/The New York Times

MANCHESTER, N.H. — New York Times photographers are following the Democratic presidential candidates across New Hampshire, as they hold events in opera houses, community colleges and elsewhere.

Credit…Tamir Kalifa for The New York Times
Credit…Alyssa Schukar for The New York Times

Take a Look:

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Credit…Hilary Swift for The New York Times

Shortly after Tom Perez, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, called for a “recanvass” of the Iowa caucus results amid delays and irregularities, the Iowa Democratic Party said in a statement that it would conduct such an audit should a presidential campaign request it.

“Should any presidential campaign in compliance with the Iowa Delegate Selection Plan request a recanvass, the IDP is prepared,” said Troy Price, the chairman of the state party. “In such a circumstance, the IDP will audit the paper records of report, as provided by the precinct chairs and signed by representatives of presidential campaigns.”

Read the full statement below:

While I fully acknowledge that the reporting circumstances on Monday night were unacceptable, we owe it to the thousands of Iowa Democratic volunteers and caucusgoers to remain focused on collecting and reviewing incoming results.

Throughout the collection of records of results, the IDP identified inconsistencies in the data and used our redundant paper records to promptly correct those errors. This is an ongoing process in close coordination with precinct chairs, and we are working diligently to report the final 54 precincts to get as close to final reporting as possible.

Going forward, we are fully committed to the integrity of the preferences expressed by dedicated, passionate, and fervent Iowa Democrats. This caucus opened new opportunities for accessibility that were never available before – including over 1,500 caucusgoers attending satellite caucuses in senior living centers, Mosques, and overseas, and first-of-their-kind Spanish language and hand sign sites. This process will not be complete until we honor them.

Since the beginning of the process, we have taken unprecedented steps to gather redundant reports to ensure accuracy of all underlying data. The IDP is nearing completion in collecting redundant materials from all 1,756 precincts, including hand-collecting materials from all 99 counties which are securely stored in Des Moines.

Should any presidential campaign in compliance with the Iowa Delegate Selection Plan request a recanvass, the IDP is prepared. In such a circumstance, the IDP will audit the paper records of report, as provided by the precinct chairs and signed by representatives of presidential campaigns. This is the official record of the Iowa Democratic caucus, and we are committed to ensuring the results accurately reflect the preference of Iowans.

Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

President Trump was by turns celebratory and caustic at a noontime news conference on Thursday, following his acquittal in the Senate of two impeachment charges on a party-line vote a day earlier.

“It was evil, it was corrupt, it was dirty cops,” Mr. Trump said of the impeachment process. “​I don’t know if other presidents would have been able to take it.​”

He castigated several Democrats who shepherded the House through impeachment committee hearings and votes last year, labeling Speaker Nancy Pelosi a “horrible person.” And he predicted that Republicans would win back control of the House in November because of an electoral backlash against “this impeachment hoax.”

Mr. Trump also challenged the impartiality of the Democratic presidential candidates who are also senators and voted on his charges — a striking line of criticism considering that many Republican senators indicated they would vote to acquit even before the trial again.

Speaking of the senators running for president, who include Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, he said, “They are saying the most horrendous things — it’s O.K., it’s politics — and then they’re supposed to vote on me.”

The president’s long-list of thank-yous included his lawyers, House Republican leaders and Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, who drew a standing ovation.

But even as Mr. Trump expressed delight over Wednesday’s vote, it was clear that the permanent stain of impeachment on his presidency had affected him.

“It’s a very ugly word to me, a very dark word,” Mr. Trump said of impeachment. “They brought me to the final stages to impeachment, but now we have that gorgeous word — I never thought a word would sound so good — it’s called total acquittal. Total acquittal.”

Credit…Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

Senator Bernie Sanders declared victory in the Iowa caucuses on Thursday, even as the chairman of the Democratic National Committee called on the Iowa Democratic Party to immediately begin a full “recanvass” of the results from Monday night.

“What I want to do today, three days late, is to thank the people of Iowa for the very strong victory they gave us at the Iowa caucuses,” Mr. Sanders said.

In the results released so far, Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., has a tiny lead over Mr. Sanders in state delegate equivalents, the metric by which the winner of the caucuses is usually judged.

But Mr. Sanders, speaking at his New Hampshire campaign headquarters, cited his lead in other, raw numbers that are effectively an expression of the popular vote in Iowa.

“Even thought the vote tabulations have been extremely slow, we are now at a point, with some 97 percent of the precincts reporting, where our campaign is winning the popular initial vote by some 6,000 votes,” Mr. Sanders said, sounding frustrated but resolute. “In other words, some 6,000 more Iowans came out on caucus night to support our candidacy than the candidacy of anyone else. And when 6,000 more people come out for you in an election than your nearest opponent, we here in northern New England call that a victory.”

His announcement immediately put him at odds with Mr. Buttigieg, who has also declared victory. On the night of the caucuses, he seized on the uncertainty to pre-emptively crown himself the winner — and has continued to do so since.

Mr. Sanders had a different take on Thursday, however: With eight candidates competing in Iowa, and a voter turnout of, by his estimation, about 180,000, he called his margin of victory “decisive.”

In unusually harsh terms — at odds from the tone his campaign struck earlier this year — Mr. Sanders also laced into the Iowa Democratic Party, calling what happened a “screw-up” and an “outrage.”

“I think what has happened with the Iowa Democratic Party is an outrage — that they were that unprepared that they put forth such a complicated process,” he said, that relied on “untested technology” and volunteers.

And he blamed the news media for putting “too much emphasis” on the state delegate equivalents, which are a measure of the estimated number of state delegates won by each candidate. In response to questions about his decision to declare victory amid inconsistencies and the call for a recanvass, Mr. Sanders argued again that he had won on the popular vote measure. “We won an eight-person election by some 6,000 votes. That is not going to be changed,” he said.

The mess in Iowa is in some ways a victory for Mr. Sanders, who has railed against the Democratic Party for years. Since 2016, when he narrowly lost to Hillary Clinton in Iowa, he and his allies have also raised questions about the caucuses and how the state party reports results. Sanders allies immediately jumped on reports that there were inconsistencies this year to express vindication and call attention to weaknesses in the process.

“The fact that we now have clear results of the popular vote is something that we fought for, that did not exist in 2016,” he said. Though he stopped short of casting doubt on the 2016 results — “I don’t want to revisit 2016,” he said — he did say there was “some supposition that we actually won the popular vote” that year as well.

In addition to declaring himself the winner on the first count — “the popular initial vote” — Mr. Sanders also said he had won on the second count, known in Iowa as realignment. “In that process,” he said, “we are now ahead by over 2,500 votes.”

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Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont climbed to a narrow lead in a new Monmouth poll of New Hampshire voters, who will cast their ballots on Tuesday.

Mr. Sanders had 24 percent support in the poll, which included both registered Democrats and independent voters who are likely to participate in the primary. He was followed by former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., at 20 percent; former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. at 17; Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts at 13; and Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota at 9.

Each of the top five candidates was within the margin of error — plus or minus 4.4 percentage points — of the candidates directly above and below them.

The poll is roughly in line with the results coming out of Iowa, which are incomplete but show Mr. Sanders and Mr. Buttigieg in a tight race for first and second, followed by Ms. Warren, Mr. Biden and Ms. Klobuchar. But only 49 percent of voters said they had made a firm decision.

“There are some hints in the poll that Buttigieg could be helped and Biden hurt as the caucus results start to sink in,” Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, said in a statement, noting that voters want to choose a candidate who can beat President Trump. “Confidence is contagious, and voters want to go with a winner.”

If voters’ preferences do shift, “this might not happen until the final days,” Mr. Murray said.

Behind the top five were Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii and the entrepreneur Andrew Yang at 4 percent each, and the former hedge fund executive Tom Steyer at 3 percent.

Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado — who has staked his entire campaign on New Hampshire, campaigning exclusively there even in the last days before the Iowa caucuses — was at 1 percent.

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Following more delays and errors in reporting of the Iowa caucus results, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee called on the Iowa Democratic Party to immediately begin a full “recanvass” of the state.

“Enough is enough,” Tom Perez, the D.N.C. chairman, said on Twitter on Thursday. “In light of the problems that have emerged in the implementation of the delegate selection plan and in order to assure public confidence in the results, I am calling on the Iowa Democratic Party to immediately begin a recanvass.”

The delay in results that began on Monday night has continued for days, with at least 3 percent of the state results still unreported as of Thursday.

And according to a New York Times analysis published on Thursday morning, more than 100 precincts across the state reported results that were either internally inconsistent, missing data or that were not possible under the complex rules of the Iowa caucuses.

A statewide re-canvass would require a “hand audit” of worksheets from the more than 1,600 caucus precincts in Iowa and 87 satellite caucuses in Iowa, other states and overseas.

It would not require officials to hand count the preference cards filled out by tens of thousands of caucusgoers.

At issue is the math that leaders of caucuses — in particular satellite caucuses — used to determine the allocation of state delegate equivalents, the metric that will determine Iowa’s winner.

The problem now centers on the Delegate Selection Plan — essentially, the rules of the caucus — that was approved by the D.N.C.

State party officials gave different information about how satellite caucuses would allocate state delegate equivalents to the presidential campaigns than was in the delegate selection plan, a Democratic official said.

Some of the presidential campaigns based their satellite caucus strategy around the calculations articulated in the plan published by the D.N.C., and others did so based on information they had received from the state party.

The discrepancy led to the chaos that has enveloped the week following the caucuses.

The Iowa Democratic Party put out a series of incremental updates on the caucus results on Wednesday, none of which really moved the overall picture — until last night.

Now, Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg are nearly tied in the state delegate count, a measure Mr. Buttigieg previously led by a small but seemingly stable margin. Helping Mr. Sanders close the gap were results from satellite caucuses, sites set up both in Iowa and in far-flung locations — places like Florida and the former Soviet republic of Georgia — to make the caucus process somewhat more accessible.

With the latest results included, Mr. Buttigieg and Mr. Sanders are now separated by just three state delegates out of 2,098 allocated so far, with Mr. Buttigieg ahead. With a batch of caucus results still outstanding, the race is clearly too close to call by the delegate measure, the traditional metric for determining a winner in Iowa.

What has remained consistent, however, is Mr. Sanders’s lead in both the first and final alignments of caucusing — effectively a measure of the popular vote. He is ahead of Mr. Buttigieg by 1.5 percentage points in the final raw-vote total and a margin of about 2,500 votes, a lead that is highly unlikely to disappear in the last rounds of reporting.

Also unchanged has been the order of finish among the rest of the candidates: Elizabeth Warren has maintained her position in third place, by both delegate and popular-vote measures, followed by Joseph R. Biden Jr. and then Amy Klobuchar.


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