The 2020 Iowa caucuses

By Meg Wagner, Amanda Wills, Veronica Rocha and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 12:14 a.m. ET, February 5, 2020
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12:11 a.m. ET, February 5, 2020

Buttigieg holds lead with 71% reporting in Iowa


Here are where the top five candidates stand:

  • Pete Buttigieg (26.8%)
  • Bernie Sanders (25.2%)
  • Elizabeth Warren (18.4%)
  • Joe Biden (15.4%)
  • Amy Klobuchar (12.6%)

8:52 p.m. ET, February 4, 2020

Democratic National Committee takes more active role in Iowa counting process

From CNN's Dan Merica

Charlie Neibergall/AP
Charlie Neibergall/AP

The Democratic National Committee is taking an increasingly active role in the process of tracking down the data from the nearly 1,700 caucus sites across Iowa, including checking data sent to the Iowa Democratic Party via their failed app, two sources familiar with the matter tell CNN.

A team of roughly a dozen party officials are currently in Iowa working with the state party to report out the results of last night’s caucuses, which were delayed due to widespread reporting issues between the Iowa precincts and the Iowa Democratic Party.

The team from the DNC includes staffers tracking online disinformation, we well as data and communications staff, one source said. DNC Chair Tom Perez is not in Iowa, according to a DNC aide, but has been getting updates from the team of the ground.

The DNC officials are also chasing down data from individual caucus chairs from precincts across the state, hoping to track down precincts that had not reported their results.

A spokeswoman for the Iowa Democratic Party said that the DNC was “chasing precinct results,” something that they described as “something that happens after every caucus.”

This caucus was unlike any other, though, and there are likely more precincts to chase down this cycle because both the app failed and the phone line that that was supposed to allow caucus chairs to report data was overrun.

Bill Schoenenberger, the caucus chair of a precinct in Des Moines, told CNN that he got a call on Tuesday morning from someone who identified themselves as a Democratic National Committee official. Schoenenberger, instead of using the app or hotline on Monday night, said he scanned his final caucus tally and emailed it to the Polk County Democrats.

“They said they were assisting the Iowa Democratic Party to collect the data and verify it,” Schoenenberger said. “They were asking, not just me, but others… to get a copy or a picture of the information sheets.”

Schoenenberger said he notified Price and the chair Polk County Democrats that this request came in and that he knows of two or three other caucus chairs that have been called by the DNC.

8:36 p.m. ET, February 4, 2020

Democratic National Committee chair: "What happened last night should never happen again"

Drew Angerer/Getty Images/File
Drew Angerer/Getty Images/File

Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez said the situation in Iowa "should never happen again."

"Our immediate goal is to ensure that every vote is counted as quickly as possible. Accuracy is our guidepost," he said in a statement.

Here's the full statement: 

"What happened last night should never happen again. We have staff working around the clock to assist the Iowa Democratic Party to ensure that all votes are counted. It is clear that the app in question did not function adequately. It will not be used in Nevada or anywhere else during the primary election process. The technology vendor must provide absolute transparent accounting of what went wrong. 
Our immediate goal is to ensure that every vote is counted as quickly as possible. Accuracy is our guidepost.
 As frustrating as the last 24 hours have been, let us not lose sight of our ultimate goal: To defeat Donald Trump, to take back our democracy, and to improve the lives of millions by electing Democrats up and down the ballot."
8:00 p.m. ET, February 4, 2020

It's been a full day since the caucuses began, and only 62% of results are in

Charlie Neibergall/AP
Charlie Neibergall/AP

The Iowa caucuses started at 8 p.m. ET yesterday, when caucus sites officially closed their doors to start voting.

The first results didn't come in until today, around 5 p.m. ET, after jammed phone lines and a failing app created chaos in reporting the numbers. At that time, Democratic officials said 62% of precincts were in.

We haven't gotten any more results since then. It's not clear when 100% of precincts could report.

7:40 p.m. ET, February 4, 2020

Sanders tells New Hampshire supporters: "I know they'd be able to count your votes on election night"


Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is currently in second place in Iowa with 62% of precincts reporting — is speaking in New Hampshire, which has its primary next week.

"For some reason in Iowa, they're having a little bit of trouble counting votes," he told the crowd of supporters. "But I am confident that here in New Hampshire — I know they'd be able to count your votes on election night. And when you count those votes, I look forward to winning here in New Hampshire."

While Sanders is behind Pete Buttigieg in Iowa when it comes to state delegates, he's leading the popular vote.

Hear more from Sanders:

7:08 p.m. ET, February 4, 2020

Sanders campaign points to raw vote totals as everyone waits for final results

From CNN's Gregory Krieg

Matt Rourke/AP
Matt Rourke/AP

Bernie Sanders is neck-and-neck with Pete Buttigieg in Iowa with a little more than 60% of the Iowa vote (finally) in.

Buttigieg leads, at this point, in the critical state delegate equivalents count, with 26.9% to Sanders’ 25.1%.

Those numbers could well change, especially with parts of the state -- like in Black Hawk County -- where Sanders was banking on a strong showing not yet reporting their totals.

For now, though, the Sanders campaign is publicly focusing on a different count, where he has the lead: the raw vote totals.

In a statement, Sanders senior adviser Jeff Weaver highlighted those figures.

“We are gratified that in the partial data released so far it’s clear that in the first and second round more people voted for Bernie than any other candidate in the field,” Weaver said, after thanking Iowans.

In the initial count, Sanders has 27,088 to Buttigieg’s 23,666.

After caucus-goers whose candidates didn’t reach the 15% viability threshold were asked to go to their second choice -- or leave or tally themselves as uncommitted -- Sanders remains in front, with a higher total but smaller lead (28,220 to 27,030).

6:53 p.m. ET, February 4, 2020

Biden donor: "This is disappointing"

From CNN's Fredreka Schouten

John Locher/AP
John Locher/AP

A longtime Democratic fundraiser who supports Vice President Joe Biden called the partial, delayed Iowa results "disappointing."

The results — currently with just 62% of precincts reporting — showed Biden in fourth place

“Yeah, this is disappointing,” the donor said. “You sit there wondering how can the totals be this low for a former vice president?” 

The donor said recent fundraising up through Tuesday morning had been strong. “The question is what will these numbers mean” for donors, the source added. “Will they panic?”

The donor said Biden’s supporters still hope that South Carolina — where African Americans represent about 60% of the Democratic primary electorate – will serve as a firewall for Biden.

“The storyline hasn’t changed. Iowa is Iowa. South Carolina embodies Biden’s supporters.”

Campaign finance reports released last Friday showed Biden started the year with slightly less than $9 million in cash reserves, a weaker cash position than his leading rivals. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders had more than twice that amount remaining in his campaign war chest.

6:45 p.m. ET, February 4, 2020

It's been almost a day since the caucuses started and we still don't have the full results

Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Troy Price exits the stage after speaking Tuesday about the technical issues that delayed the caucus results.
Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Troy Price exits the stage after speaking Tuesday about the technical issues that delayed the caucus results. Joshua Lott/AFP/Getty Images

The Iowa caucuses shut their doors to begin voting at 8 p.m. ET last night. After a long delay, Iowa Democrats released some results at 5 p.m. ET today.

But those first results were for just 62% of the precincts. In the hour and a half since those numbers were released, no new results have come out. So we're still at just 62% reporting.

It's not clear when we could get 100% reporting.

6:37 p.m. ET, February 4, 2020

Buttigieg: I hope this means something to "people who are different, people who don't know if they belong"


Pete Buttigieg, who currently has a narrow lead in Iowa with 62% of precincts reporting, said he hopes his initial numbers mean something to "people who are different" and "people who don't know if they belong."

If elected, Buttigieg would be the nation's first gay president.

"It's extraordinary," he told CNN when asked about what this moment means.

"It also, I hope, means something to a lot of people wondering if they fit in, people who are different, people who don't know if they belong in their community or in their family. This is a proof that you can believe in yourself and in your country." 

Hear more from Buttigieg: