Washington: Almost a week after the Iowa caucuses, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg has won 14 of the state’s 41 delegates, thus putting him in first place in the Democratic Party’s state caucuses and giving him a key boost as he heads into New Hampshire, due to hold its own primary this coming week.
According to the recount announced on Sunday by the state Democratic party, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders garnered the second highest number of delegates – 12 – followed by Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren with eight, former Vice President Joe Biden with six and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar with one.
The primary process is a mathematical process with the Democratic – and Republican – presidential nominees being decided based on the number of delegates they can garner to back them at the party’s national convention, which formally designates the candidate.
In all, the Democratic National Committee calculates that there will be 3,979 delegates at the convention in Wisconsin in July, and thus the winning candidate will need 1,990 delegates – 50 percent plus one – to secure the presidential nomination.
To be sure, Iowa has only minimal clout in terms of its 41 delegates in the process, but since it is the first state to hold its primaries – although in its case they are “caucuses” – the corn-growing state captures the attention of politicians and the media and its caucus, over the years, has acquired special relevance in terms of providing an early look at the strength of different candidates.
With the results announced on Sunday afternoon, the Iowa Democratic Party thus closed a chaotic caucus recount – caused by a vote-counting app that failed to operate as advertised or hoped – that had engendered serious doubts about the whole process.
Initially, the party had said it would announce caucus results last Monday night, the very day of the caucuses, but unexpectedly the Democrats said they could not provide the results due to a “coding error” on the app the party used to tally the votes, a situation seized on by Republican President Donald Trump, who will run for re-election and highlighted the Iowa situation as evidence of Democratic incompetence.
The revelation that the company that developed the app, Shadow Inc., received money from both the Buttigieg and Biden campaigns also sparked a serious lack of confidence in the results among some Democrats.
US media outlets refused to declare a winner in the caucuses due to the chaotic process.
Since February 3, however, the Democratic candidates have been busy in New Hampshire, where the nation’s first primaries will be held on Tuesday.
The New England state’s primaries have acquired special importance this year in light of the Iowa fiasco.