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'Not a Good Night For Democracy': Sanders Releases More Internal Results Hinting at Iowa Victory, But Laments Caucus Chaos

"I don't know how anybody declares victory before you have an official statement as to an election result, so we're not declaring victory."

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) speaks to the media after boarding the plane at the Des Moines International Airport on February 4, 2020 in Des Moines, Iowa. Sanders was heading to Manchester, New Hampshire to campaign leading up to the primary on February 11 as he awaits the release of the results from the Iowa caucus. (Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Citing the need for further transparency amid the delay of official results from the Iowa caucuses, the Democratic presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday afternoon put out additional figures based on internal data which they believe shows he will ultimately be declared the winner of the first-in-the-nation primary contest.

"Last night was a bad night for democracy, for the Democratic Party, and for the people of Iowa," Sanders wrote in an email to supporters. "In the interest of full transparency as we wait for the Iowa Democratic Party to release results, we want to share the numbers that we have at this moment."

"I think the people of Iowa have done their duty and unfortunately the Democratic Party here in Iowa has been negligent in not getting us timely results."
—Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)
With 60% of the vote in, according to results sent by precinct captains from across the state, Sanders has a "comfortable lead," the Vermont senator's campaign wrote.

Shortly after the email was sent, Sanders and senior campaign adviser Jeff Weaver spoke to reporters aboard a plane as they prepared to take off for New Hampshire, where primary voters will cast ballots next Tuesday.

According to Weaver, the campaign's latest internal figures were as follows after the first alignment: Sanders (29.08%); Buttigieg (21.63%); Warren (19.51%); Klobuchar (12.27%); and Biden (12.04%). After the second and final alignment, Weaver explained, the figures were:  Sanders (29.4%); Buttigieg (24.87%); Warren (20.65%); Biden (12.92%); and Klobuchar (11.18%).

"The spreads and these results have been pretty consistent all through the night—from the time we had 15 percent in, these results have held across all of the reporting," Weaver told the reporters. "So we anticipate that this will hold probably until the end of the reporting."

The latest results were consistent with data released by the campaign late Monday night, when 40% of the vote had been reported to the campaign by precinct captains.

Sanders praised Iowa voters and volunteers for their participation in the caucus, but expressed deep frustration with the state party leaders for the long delay in reporting the caucus results.

"I think the people of Iowa have done their duty and unfortunately the Democratic Party here in Iowa has been negligent in not getting us timely results," the senator said, adding that the campaign is "not casting aspersions on the votes" following a suggestion from Biden that the caucus results may not be trustworthy.

"I can't understand why that happens, but it has happened," Sanders said of the delay.

Sanders reiterated in his email to supporters that the latest numbers from precinct captains are not final results and criticized Buttigieg for declaring late Monday night that his campaign had been "victorious" in Iowa.

Asked about Buttigieg's preemptive claim of victory by a reporter on the plane, Sanders responded, "I don't know how anybody declares victory before you have an official statement as to an election result, so we're not declaring victory."

What the campaign is saying, he added, "is that when the people of Iowa, the people of America really want to know what the results are, when they want to see some transparency, and when the Iowa Democratic Party is not providing that in a timely manner, we thought it was appropriate just to give the results that have come in from the precinct captains."

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