Dem candidates snipe at each other and Iowa officials as they await results

Photo of Dem candidates snipe at each other and Iowa officials as they await results

Pete Buttigieg plowed ahead Tuesday with his claims of victory in the Iowa caucuses despite no reporting of results from the state Democratic Party, as he blitzed the morning shows to try to solidify the narrative that he was the clear winner.

In a memo released early Tuesday morning, Buttigieg’s campaign shared its unverified internal data from more than 1,200 precincts.

“It was an extraordinary night, and we are absolutely victorious coming into New Hampshire,” Buttigieg said in an interview on “CBS This Morning.”

“We have the results from our organization, and if you look at what we were able to do, what happened last night, the fact that this campaign was able to gather support in urban, suburban and rural areas alike, in counties that Hillary Clinton won, counties that Donald Trump won, we are thrilled and absolutely consider that a victory,” he added.

Buttigieg’s certainty, however, comes at a moment of uncertainty for the entire Democratic presidential field, which left Iowa with no official indication from the state party of who won the caucuses.

Bernie Sanders’ campaign released internal data from about 40 percent of precincts after 1 a.m. Tuesday showing the Vermont senator leading the caucuses.

“We recognize that this does not replace the full data from the Iowa Democratic Party, but we believe firmly that our supporters worked too hard for too long to have the results of that work delayed,” said Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ senior adviser.

Issues reporting the results across the state deprived the frontrunners of waking up to headlines declaring an official winner and denied candidates clear momentum heading into New Hampshire, which holds its first-in-the-nation primary next Tuesday.

The delay also means the results could have an even shorter shelf life in the news cycle, given that coverage has centered on the chaos that occurred in Iowa, potentially jeopardizing its first-in-the-nation status. Not to mention, President Donald Trump will deliver his State of the Union address to the nation Tuesday night and will likely be acquitted by the Republican-led Senate on Wednesday.

Democrats, most of whom have already traveled to New Hampshire, will debate there on Friday.

Buttigieg said that in an emergency call with campaigns Monday night, the Iowa Democratic Party gave no indication of when it would release the official results.

“It’s safe to say nobody’s more impatient than I am given how fantastic everything we’ve seen was coming out of last night,” Buttigieg said. “But what we do know is that there is a paper trail, that they’ll be verifying this based on paper, and given whatever happened technically, that’s good news.”

In an interview on CNN’s “New Day,” Kate Bedingfield, former Vice President Joe Biden’s deputy campaign manager and communications director, said the campaign has “real concerns about the integrity of the process.” Citing their internal numbers, Bedingfield insisted that “we overperformed in parts of the states where we didn’t expect to” but declined to say where she thinks Biden finished in Iowa’s state delegate equivalents, the metric that most news organizations will use to determine the winner.

“We have zero official data from the Iowa Democratic Party at this point,” she said. “There are serious questions about the process and during this time where we have no official verified information from the Iowa Democratic Party, we have, you know, campaigns putting out incomplete data that doesn’t paint a full picture.”

In a brief gaggle with reporters after landing in New Hampshire early Tuesday morning, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren said “it still is” too close to call, “but I feel good.”

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar told reporters early Tuesday that she’s “of course” concerned by the lack of reported results.

“I’d like to see those numbers, but I think we’ll get there,” she said. “Remember, there was a day when we didn’t have apps and computers, and they were able to get those numbers. So they’ve written them all down, they’re adding them up and we’ll get them. And we really wanna see what they are because we think we’re doing well.”

Andrew Yang told CNN in New Hampshire that he’ll take Iowa Democrats “at their word.”

“I’m sure they would not have wished this kind of delay on anyone,” he said. “So the data I’m sure will prove out.”

Myah Ward contributed to this report.

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