Initial Results Give Buttigieg Win in Iowa Democratic Caucuses

His win propels him to the top of the Democratic field, maybe.


By David Kamioner | February 4, 2020

Young Mayor Pete Buttigieg seems to have won the Democratic Iowa caucuses. Sanders came in second. There is 62% of the vote in 99 counties reporting in. This is a tremendous defeat for Joe Biden.

Even these results aren’t final, as 38% is more than the margin between victory and defeat. But this is what we have right now. But given the delayed fiasco that was this caucus, the win has more asterisks than a Taco Bell public health inspection.

The current initial result has Buttigieg with 26.9% over 25.1% for Bernie Sanders. Elizabeth Warren placed third at 18.3%. Biden fourth at 15.6%. The winner takes the most delegates to the national convention in the summer. 41 delegates are up for grabs.

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In the Democratic Iowa caucus system if a candidate did not get 15% in the first round they dropped out and their supporters voted  for someone else. The Iowa Democratic Party calls  it “realignment.” So, second and third choices mattered in Iowa for the Democrats. Buttigieg did very well because much of his support came on the second and third realignments.

The Democratic campaign has been hard fought, as numerous confused candidates crisscrossed the state pathetically imploring Democratic voters to support them in small caucuses all across Iowa. Heavy turnout was reported in urban areas at first. Nevertheless by the end of the evening all numbers and stats had been thrown out the window.

But in the end it was the Buttigieg ground game and moderate appeal that put him over the top. Expect now one or two candidates to drop from the field. Governor Deval Patrick and Senator Michael Bennet may be the first to go. But possibly not the last.

Donations and pledges of support will now flow to the mayor’s campaign at a good time for the effort. However, the bizarre outcome of the process will retard that advantage.

The Buttigieg campaign will need every penny and all the volunteers they can muster to win the upcoming New Hampshire primary next Tuesday on February 11th. In that contest Bernie Sanders from Vermont and Senator Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts will be close on his heels trying to stop the Iowa momentum.

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If Buttigieg should take Iowa and New Hampshire he could be harder to stop going into the early March Super Tuesday set of southern primaries. Southern Democratic voters are more moderate than other voters of that party. That could help Buttigieg.

And waiting for him in south, is capitalist mogul Michael Bloomberg.

But New Hampshire has a history of favoring challengers. Gene McCarthy’s performance in 1968 and Pat Buchanan’s win in 1992 come to mind.

As such, regardless of the mangled Iowa result this battle is nowhere near being decided for one candidate. This is especially true given the unmitigated disaster that was the Iowa Democratic caucus.

The Democratic political blood letting will thus continue, much to the satisfaction of President Trump.

We will update with final figures when they are available.

This piece originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

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