97 percent of Iowa’s roughly 1,700 precincts have now reported, but we still don’t know who won the caucuses that were held on Monday. The latest results show Bernie Sanders ahead of Pete Buttigieg in the raw vote count by 2,500 votes. However, Buttigieg leads Sanders in the delegate count, 26.2 percent to 26.1 percent.
I take it that Sanders’s vote margin is less likely than Buttigieg’s delegate lead to be overcome when the remaining precincts report. But there is talk about recounting the vote.
This looks something like a replay of two previous Iowa caucuses. In the 2012 Republican caucuses, Mitt Romney was declared the winner on election night, but Rick Santorum actually won. In 2016, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders essentially tied for the win, with Clinton controversially declared the winner.
This time, in a variation, Buttigieg declared himself the winner. No one should be surprised by his arrogance.
The way I look at it, Buttigieg and Sanders are basically co-winners. Elizabeth Warren lost. Joe Biden lost big.
Given my recent track record on predictions, I probably shouldn’t make any. However, a while back when Biden was leading in some Iowa polls, I opined that Biden isn’t the kind of candidate who wins the Iowa caucuses. That turned out to be quite an understatement.