2020 Democrats Tout Internal Iowa Results, But Biden Camp Silent

(Bloomberg) -- While most of the Democratic presidential candidates were touting their own internal data to trumpet their standing in the troubled Iowa Caucus, Joe Biden’s campaign was silent.

His team didn’t have people collecting as much data from its precinct captains as his opponents did, a person familiar with his team’s operations said, leaving them less informed then the four other leading campaigns.

Biden’s team, which lagged his rivals in building a strong organization in Iowa, had expected results to be close and was relying on the official numbers to reinforce that. Instead, the former vice president’s opponents have filled the vacuum with their own data.

Biden campaign manager Greg Schultz’s most definitive statement was a skeptical-eyeball emoji responding to tweets from Warren chief strategist Joe Rospars, in which he claimed Biden was fourth.

Meanwhile, just after midnight, Bernie Sanders’s campaign released its internal reporting numbers for eight candidates, which were based on results it had collected from nearly 40% of precincts in the state, and claimed victory. It put Biden in a distant fourth, but those rankings are unverified.

Pete Buttigieg’s campaign also released its estimates of his performance, showing him in a strong position. He spoke last Monday night, and declared victory. That also is unverified.

Elizabeth Warren’s chief strategist called it a close race, too.

“It’s a very close race among the top three candidates (Warren, Sanders, Buttigieg) and Biden came a distant fourth,” Rospars tweeted at 1 a.m. Tuesday.

Warren campaign manager Roger Lau said later Tuesday that her campaign had “collected photos and other raw documentation of the results at hundreds of caucus locations as part of our internal reporting process” and would give that to the Iowa Democratic Party to “to help ensure the integrity of their process.”

In a statement earlier Monday night, Schultz said that Biden’s campaign continued to believe the results had been “extremely close” and that its “own model shows that Biden over-performed in key districts we needed to be competitive in.”

Biden general counsel Dana Remus asked the Iowa Democratic Party on Monday to fully brief the campaigns on what happened -- and to be given an opportunity to respond -- before the official results are released.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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