We Have Numbers! (62% of them) Buttigieg in the Delegate Lead


At long last, Iowa has partial results. Pete Buttigieg is leading in delegates, Bernie Sanders in raw numbers.

Troy Price, chair of the Iowa Democratic Party, released 62% of the numbers shortly after 4:00PM central.

Price does not know when the rest of the totals will come in.

From the FiveThhirtyEight Live Blog.

  1. With 62 percent reporting, the first alignment vote is Sanders 24 percent, Buttigieg 21 percent, Warren 19 percent, Biden 15 percent and Klobuchar 13 percent.
  2. The post-alignment vote is Sanders 26 percent, Buttigieg 25 percent, Warren 21 percent, Biden 13 percent, Klobuchar 12 percent.
  3. The state delegate equivalent distribution is Buttigieg 27 percent, Sanders 25 percent, Warren 18 percent, Biden 16 percent, Klobuchar 13 percent. Again, this is with only about three-fifths of the vote reporting.

Iowa Realignment

Key 538 Comments

  • So far, Biden is losing from the realignment process (likely due to missing the viability threshold in many caucuses) but gaining from the geographic distribution. Buttigieg is gaining from both. Sanders and Warren are gaining a bit from realignment but losing ground from their geographic concentration.
  • For what it’s worth, these numbers are pretty close to the partial results that the Buttigieg campaign released — off by at most 1 percentage point. But the partial results the Sanders campaign released overshot his percentages in these early returns. For example, he claimed he had 29 percent in both the first-alignment vote and the post-realignment vote. In the actual results, he has 24 percent in the first-alignment vote and 26 percent in the post-alignment vote. (Again, I want to emphasize these are not the final results — just 62 percent of precincts are reporting.)
  • Of the 1,099 precincts reporting, Buttigieg met the 15 percent threshold in 88 percent and Sanders in 77 percent.

Klobuchar Hurt Biden

Bernie did not do as well as expected. Yet, Biden did worse than expected.

I noted yesterday that “Klobuchar’s performance could be a real game changer in the final delegate allocation out of Iowa.”

Most of Klobuchar's vote came at the expense of Biden. Polls show Klobuchar supporters strong favored Biden as a second choice.

Her final alignment of 12.4% suggests she topped 15% in most of the districts.

The DNC set the floor at one delegate. Add in Michael Bloomberg and the next debate will have at least 6 candidates.

Rigged System

In case you missed it, please see Bernie Supporters Scream "Rigged System" Over Debate Rule Changes.

What Happened?

The DNC removed the contribution threshold requirement. This aided Bloomberg who is self-financed and thus was ineligible to be on the stage.
I expect Bloomberg to make the stage based on the new rules.

One of the new rules was immediate inclusion by winning at least one delegate.

Bloomberg will make it based on new national poll rules.

Klobuchar is highly likely to make the cut, but has not been awarded any delegates yet.

That rules change is for the Feb 19 Nevada debate. The next debate is February 7, 2020 in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Coin Toss and SDE Update

There are roughly 2,000 SDEs in the Democratic primary but only 41 delegates total. Only a handful of SDEs involve a coin toss.

Yang with 14 SDEs will not get a delegate and will thus not make the Nevada debate.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (23)

If I were Biden I'd be very concerned. I don't like the talk of firewalls by a candidate supposedly leading in the national polls. I'm hearing more and more discussions about Bloomberg last few days. in hindsight Bloomberg should never have allowed the Biden folks from talking him out of running.

No. 1-9


Biden has huge black support. He is the big favorite in SC.
This can easily be a hung primary.


Buttigieg Poppycock 2020 FTW!


Looks like the candidates with the most presumed youth appeal, cleaned the old guard's clock. That would leave me a bit concerned, whether I was Biden, Bloomberg, or even Trump.


Go Booty Greg!


Sounds to me like the queen will step in and take her rightful place.

Hillary 2032.


Knowing how short some memories are. I wonder how many remember the Republican fiasco in 2012.

In 2012, it was the Republican caucus that was a mess. Back then, Mitt Romney was named the winner of the caucuses by eight votes — a narrow victory, yes, but still a victory for the favorite to be the Republican nominee.

Romney went on to win the New Hampshire primary comfortably, apparently winning the often-elusive double in the first two contests — he would have been the first Republican to ever win both Iowa and New Hampshire — and setting him on course to face incumbent President Barack Obama.

Except eight days after that New Hampshire win, we found Romney actually finished second in Iowa. The Iowa GOP announced, 16 days after the caucuses, that Rick Santorum had actually finished first — by 34 votes. But even that result was tinged by uncertainty:

This is probably the last caucus Iowa will hold and they probably will lose their status as the first state holding a primary next go around.


Heard something about Pete's service history and how he received multiple dishonorable discharges.


I see the Buttigieg win as bad for Sanders as it robs Sanders of the possibility of winning every primary before South Carolina. Personally I think Buttigieg can only go down from here. He's mayor of South Ben Indiana and once he's in a race against Mike Bloomberg the comparison paints him as second best. He's just too green. I think he's one to watch but I don't think this is his time

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