Dust Begins to Settle in Iowa With Clinton Edge

Becker, right, said "there's probably going to be squabbles" about the missing votes. (Photo Courtesy Brent Roske)

DES MOINES, Iowa — After a tense night and early morning trying to account for missing votes in errant precincts, the Iowa Democratic Party declared Tuesday that it had received results from 100 percent of the state's precincts and could confirm a razor-thin victory for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  

Late on Monday night, the party informed the campaigns of Clinton and Sen. Bernard Sanders that it had no results for 90 precincts across the state, which could account for as much as 5 percent of the total vote. The party asked the campaigns for help in getting a tally for those missing results. Then around noon Tuesday, central time, the Iowa Democratic party said 100 percent of precincts were reporting, sealing Clinton's win. “The results tonight are the closest in Iowa Democratic caucus history," state Party Chairman Andy McGuire said in a statement. "Hillary Clinton has been awarded  700.59  state delegate equivalents,  Bernie Sanders has been awarded 696.82 state delegate equivalents, Martin O’Malley has been awarded 7.61 state delegate equivalents and uncommitted has been awarded .46 state delegate equivalents."  

When the campaigns were informed of the missing votes, shortly after Clinton and Sanders spoke to supporters here Monday night, Sanders aides were highly critical of the party, accusing it of not doing the necessary planning to ensure a competent caucus night.  

"We are, right now, calling all our precinct captains on precincts where we have knowledge of what's missing, to report what we think happened there," a visibly irate Robert Becker, Sanders' state director told Roll Call after Sanders' speech at the Holiday Inn near the Des Moines airport.  

"They've asked the other campaigns to do the same thing. At the end of the day, there's probably going to be squabbles on it," he added.  

An Iowa Democratic Party official disputed Becker's characterization.

"We are currently getting results from our small number of outstanding precincts, and results continue to be reported on our public website," an Iowa Democratic Party official told Roll Call. "The reports of precincts without chairs are inaccurate. These outstanding precincts have chairs who we are in the process of contacting to get their results.  It is inaccurate to report that these precincts did not have chairs.” 

"We have reached out to the campaigns for help in contacting the chairs for our outstanding precincts. We are not taking results from the campaigns. We are taking them from the chairs who are in these precincts,” the official added.

Clinton and Sanders were locked in a virtual tie for most of the evening, with the state party announcing early Tuesday morning that Clinton achieved a slight edge in delegate counts.  

"The party has a responsibility to staff 1,681 individual precincts. And what we're seeing right now is that they had no-shows. People not showing up with the materials, not showing up with the app to report it. And when they're telling us an hour ago that they have basically lost 90 precincts, it's an outrage," Becker said. "It's insulting to the people who worked their asses off across this state that they can't come up with people to cover these things."  

Attempts to reach the Clinton campaign early Tuesday were unsuccessful.  

"I'm assuming they're in the same boat. And they should be just as outraged as we are," Becker fumed.


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