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Buttigieg takes narrow lead in Iowa caucus first results, Joe Biden lags

Senator Bernie Sanders, 78, more than double the age of young Buttigieg, a former mayor of South Bend in Indiana, was a close second as results started trickling

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

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US and Iowa flags adorn the state before a rally for Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden in Des Moines. Photo Reuters

Dark Horse Pete Buttigieg, a former mayor, has taken an early lead in Iowa Caucus of the Democratic party presidential primaries, while former vice president was trailing at the fourth position.

Senator Bernie Sanders, 78, more than double the age of young Buttigieg, a former mayor of South Bend in Indiana, was a close second as results started trickling in a day after the Iowa Caucuses were held.

To the surprise of many, former vice president Joe Biden, 77, was trailing at the fourth position, getting just 15.6 percent of the total votes counted.

He was behind Buttigieg (26.9 per cent), Sanders (25.1 percent) and Senator Elizabeth Warren (18.3 percent) when over 60 per cents of the votes were counted.

Iowa awards 49 delegates to the Democratic National Convention in Wisconsin in July which will elect its nominee for the November 2020 presidential elections. Of these, 41 delegates are pledged delegates allocated on the basis of percentage of votes each candidate get in the caucus.

The presidential primaries that kicked off Monday with the Iowa Caucus will now be held in all of the 50 States to determine the allocation of 3979 pledged for the Democratic National Convention. In addition, there are 771 unpledged delegates who are officials and elected representatives of the party.

A similar process is on in the ruling Republican party. President Donald Trump who is seeking his reelection was declared winner of the GOP's Iowa Caucus with 95 percent of the votes.

The delay in results of Iowa Caucus, attributable to a technical snag, has come as a major embrassement for the Democratic party.

"The Democrat Caucus is an unmitigated disaster. Nothing works, just like they ran the Country. Remember the 5 Billion Dollar Obamacare Website, that should have cost 2 per cent of that. The only person that can claim a very big victory in Iowa last night is "Trump"," the president tweeted.

In an interview to CNN, Buttigieg, who claimed victory in Iowa, said the caucus results "amounts to a remarkable victory for our campaign's vision and message" and that it's an extraordinary validation for his belief that "we can unify people and unify people both to lead and to win in an election that we can't afford to lose".

Results of the Iowa Caucus are expected to continue rolling till late Tuesday night local time.

Meanwhile, other Democratic candidates have started their campaign in New Hampshire which is scheduled to hold its primary next Tuesday.

"We are ready to compete in the next early states, Super Tuesday states, and beyond so that can unify the Democratic party and our country and then deliver on the most pressing issues for Americans as president," said Kate Bedingfield, deputy campaign manager and communications director, Biden for President.

On Tuesday, Biden received endorsements from prominent former and current elected officials from South Carolina, Virginia, California, Alabama, and Arkansas — critical early, Super Tuesday, and battleground states The delay in Iowa Caucus results have not gone down well among the party's candidates. "Last night was a bad night for democracy, for the Democratic Party, and for the people of Iowa," Sanders said Tuesday. His campaign in the afternoon claimed that he was ahead of Buttigieg.

Iowa Democratic Party chairman, Troy Price apologized for the delay in results. "We know this data is accurate and we also have a paper trail," he said.

"We ALL lost last night. Every democracy-loving American. Every candidate. Every voter who answered sham or suppressed polls. Every Iowa caucus goer who took time away from their kids and off work to volunteer to have their vote represented," said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, a Democratic presidential candidate.

First Published: Wed, February 05 2020. 07:51 IST