Buttigieg ahead in Iowa Democratic Party Caucus

Former Mayor of South Bend, Indiana Pete Buttigieg arrives at the Pete for America caucus night watch party in the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucus for the 2020 Democratic presidential race at Drake University Bell Center in Des Moines, Iowa, USA. EPA-EFE/GARY HE

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Pete Buttigieg led in Iowa’s initial caucus results with 62% of precincts reporting, with U.S. Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren in second and third place and former Vice President Joe Biden trailing in fourth, the Iowa Democratic Party reported.

Pete Buttigieg took a narrow lead in the first batch of long-delayed results from the chaotic Iowa Democratic Party caucuses on Tuesday, and former Vice President Joe Biden trailed badly in fourth place with about 62% of precincts reporting.

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders was a close second place and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren placed third in the first results, released nearly 21 hours after Iowans poured into more than 1,600 public locations to begin the five-month process of picking a challenger to Republican President Donald Trump.

In Tuesday’s first results of state delegate equivalents, the data traditionally reported to determine the winner, Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, had 26.9%, Sanders had 25.1%, Warren 18.3% and Biden 15.6%. Senator Amy Klobuchar was fifth at 12.6%.

If elected, Buttigieg, 38 of Maltese descent, would be the first openly gay U.S. president. A military veteran, he served in Afghanistan before becoming mayor of South Bend, a city of 102,000 people.

But the state party has still not declared a winner from Monday’s vote, which was derailed by technical malfunctions.

The results represent the share of delegates needed to clinch the party nomination under America’s quirky political system. Iowa awards only 41 of the 1,991 delegates required to become the Democratic White House nominee.

But in the popular vote count, partial results showed Mr Sanders leading with 28,220 ballots, while Mr Buttigieg was second at 27,030.

Ms Warren was third with 22,254, followed by Mr Biden at 14,176 and Ms Klobuchar at 13,357.

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