Associated Press Says It Can’t Declare a Winner in Iowa Caucuses

(Bloomberg) -- The Associated Press said Thursday it cannot declare a winner in the Iowa caucus while Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders are still neck-and-neck in the incomplete state delegate count.

With 97% of precincts reporting, Buttigieg leads Sanders by 0.14 percentage points.

“The Associated Press calls a race when there is a clear indication of a winner. Because of a tight margin between former Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Senator Bernie Sanders and the irregularities in this year’s caucus process, it is not possible to determine a winner at this point,” said AP executive editor Sally Buzbee.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez has called for a retabulation of the Iowa results after complaints of irregularities by the Buttigieg and Sanders campaigns. Part of the dispute involves the counting of delegates from satellite caucuses — a new feature of the delegate selection process that allows people to vote at non-traditional locations inside and outside the state.

The AP’s decision mirrors one it made in 2016, when the AP declared the race between Sanders and Hillary Clinton too close to call. The Iowa Democratic Party eventually gave the nod to Clinton, awarding her the lion’s share of the 41 delegates after she won by 0.24 percentage points.

(Disclaimer: Michael Bloomberg is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination. He is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.)

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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