Live Iowa Democratic Caucus Election Results 2020: Who Is Winning?

Iowa Caucus

Getty These candidates could pick up delegates today.

The Iowa Democratic Caucus — the first contest in the nation to help determine who will be the Democrats’ candidate for the 2020 Presidential election — was held as scheduled on Monday, February 4. But a day later, on Tuesday, February 5, the full results had still not been released and the winner hasn’t been declared. Then on Wednesday afternoon, 86% of the results were released, but still not the full results. By Saturday, many organizations are saying they will not declare a winner. The Iowa Democratic Party has said “inconsistencies” in the reporting of the results and issues with an app used to send the numbers in have led to the long delays in revealing who won, and a number of inconsistencies are still being pointed out.

By Sunday night, the Iowa Democratic Party had released their national delegate count, despite not reaching the recanvassing deadline yet. They said Buttigieg would get 14 delegates, Sanders 12, Warren 8, Biden 6, and Klobuchar 1. But still, many sites including Decision Desk were not yet comfortable announcing a winner due to all the discrepancies. Then on Monday morning, February 10, Sanders’ campaign announced that they were filing for a partial recanvass.

You can find the results that have been revealed so far later in this post from our partners at Decision Desk, but keep in mind that these are not final numbers. You can see details on some of the discrepancies in Heavy’s story here.

Many voters are upset at the delay and are unconvinced if they should trust the results. Meanwhile, the Iowa Democratic Party insists they have a paper trail and will be fully transparent about the numbers. But a number of inconsistencies were only fixed after the IDP was told about them on Twitter, and some still remain.

The Iowa Democratic Party said in a statement the day after the caucus: “Last night, more than 1,600 precinct caucuses gathered across the state of Iowa and at satellite caucuses around the world to demonstrate our shared values and goal of taking back the White House. The many volunteers running caucus sites, new voters registering as Democrats, and neighbors talking to each other about the future of our country demonstrated the strength of our party. We have every indication that our systems were secure and there was not a cyber security intrusion. In preparation for the caucuses, our systems were tested by independent cybersecurity consultants.”

The party added:

As precinct caucus results started coming in, the IDP ran them through an accuracy and quality check. It became clear that there were inconsistencies with the reports. The underlying cause of these inconsistencies was not immediately clear, and required investigation, which took time. As this investigation unfolded, IDP staff activated pre-planned backup measures and entered data manually. This took longer than expected. As part of our investigation, we determined with certainty that the underlying data collected via the app was sound. While the app was recording data accurately, it was reporting out only partial data. We have determined that this was due to a coding issue in the reporting system. This issue was identified and fixed. The application’s reporting issue did not impact the ability of precinct chairs to report data accurately.

Because of the required paper documentation, we have been able to verify that the data recorded in the app and used to calculate State Delegate Equivalents is valid and accurate. Precinct level results are still being reported to the IDP. While our plan is to release results as soon as possible today, our ultimate goal is to ensure that the integrity and accuracy of the process continues to be upheld.

Although the winner of the caucus will walk away with a small number of delegates, the first in the nation status of the contest typically creates momentum. But the delay in results being released has slowed that down. The candidates have left Iowa, giving speeches to their supporters late Monday night, and are on to the next contest, the first primary, in New Hampshire.

Before leaving town on the night of the caucus, Mayor Pete Buttigieg said he was “victorious,” and his campaign released internal numbers showing that he had outperformed expectations and was close to frontrunner Bernie Sanders. Sanders’ campaign, meanwhile, released its own numbers showing him in the lead with 40 precincts reporting.

Heavy is still providing live results from the Iowa caucus right here on this page as part of a partnership with Decision Desk, as soon as the data is made available by the Iowa Democrats.

Democratic Caucus Results – Updated Live

Heavy has partnered with Decision Desk to show the live results of the Democratic caucus as they come in. Go here if you don’t see a results table below.

Live Results: Democratic 1st Round

Live Results: Democratic 2nd Round

Live Results: Democratic Delegate Equivalents

Above you will see the results of the first presidential preference vote, the second presidential preference vote, and the state delegate equivalency (also known as the delegate allocation.) Scroll down to the “Caucus Rules” section of this story below to learn more about what these numbers mean and when the votes are taken. Any candidate who does not receive 15 percent of the first vote is considered “non-viable,” and their supporters might choose to support a different candidate for the second vote.

We will also be providing live updates for the caucus below, with the most recent updates listed first. At the end of this first section, you can find a live video of the caucus coverage that you can watch while you wait for the results.

By Saturday afternoon, an official winner was not declared and might not be. Decision Desk is holding off on declaring a winner given the confusion with the results. It will likely end up with Sanders and Buttigieg tied on national delegates, but we don’t know that yet for sure. You can find the results that have been revealed so far later in this post from our partners at Decision Desk, but keep in mind that these are not final numbers. You can see details on some of the discrepancies in Heavy’s story here.

By Thursday at about 8:10 p.m. Central time, the Iowa Democratic Party had released 100% of the results here. In SDE numbers, it shows 564.012 for Buttigieg, 562.497 for Sanders, 341.172 for Biden, and 387.069 for Warren, but these numbers are being disputed. You can find the results that have been revealed so far later in this post from our partners at Decision Desk. National delegate estimates will likely show Buttigieg and Sanders tied, while Sanders did end up with more votes total, as you can see in the charts from Decision Desk later in this story.

By Thursday at about 10:03 a.m. Central time, the Iowa Democratic Party had released 97% of the results here. In SDE numbers, it shows 550.339 for Buttigieg, 546.912 for Sanders, 331.351 for Biden, and 381.258 for Warren. You can find the results that have been revealed so far later in this post from our partners at Decision Desk. National delegate estimates won’t be released until all the precincts have reported.

At 4 p.m. local time on Tuesday, the Iowa Democratic Party had only released 62% of the precincts. You can see the results here. The results included 26.9% for Buttigieg, 25.1% for Sanders, 18.3% for Warren, and 15.6% for Biden. But many voters are upset at the delay and are unconvinced if they should trust the results. Meanwhile, the Iowa Democratic Party insists they have a paper trail and will be fully transparent about the numbers.

The party said earlier in the day that the first results were expected by 4 p.m. local time Tuesday. You can find the results that have been revealed so far later in this post from our partners at Decision Desk.

Daniel Clark, a precinct captain for Sanders in Iowa who is also now a county delegate for Iowa, told Heavy: ” Even in small conservative rural Iowa, we are feeling the Bern! I was proud to caucus with the most diverse group of people at my caucus and we stand in solidarity with Bernie Sanders. As a delegate, I hope to go to the DNC again, to make Bernie our 46th President. We started the momentum, now onto New Hampshire!”

12:49 a.m. Eastern: Don’t expect the results until sometime on Tuesday.

11:17 p.m. Central: Results are delayed and it is possible that official results will not be available until later tonight or tomorrow. Here are some of the reasons why.

10:56 p.m. Central: Results are still delayed due to inconsistencies in the three test results.

9:27 p.m. Central: The Iowa Democratic Party has said the final tallies may be delayed.

9:23 p.m. Central: Some preliminary results are being reported by The New York Times, including 1,385 for Buttigieg, 1,318 for Sanders, 1,030 for Warren, 693 for Biden, and 579 for Klobuchar. The Associated Press has been reporting some preliminary results with Sanders at 25.9%, Warren at 22.4.%, Buttigieg at 17.8%, and Biden and Klobuchar at 13.2%. But secondary alignment might indicate more heading to Buttigieg upon the second vote. It’s all preliminary at this point.

9:01 p.m. Central: Non-viable candidates in DSM 35 reportedly joined to form a Cory Booker group, not joining with the Warren, Sanders, or Buttigieg groups.

8:29 p.m Central: A precinct that went 5-3 for Hillary Clinton in 2016 might end up 6-2 for Sanders.

8:27 p.m. Central: In the 59th precinct, Biden started short of viability, below Klobuchar.

And Elizabeth Warren made her pitch in another location.

At a precinct in West Des Moines, Sanders leads the initial vote.

And one of the favorite stories so far tonight is a woman who tried to sneak in a bottle of wine and then dropped it.

8:07 p.m. Central: The first alignment at Drake University in Des Moines showed Warren in the lead, followed by Buttigieg and Klobuchar, Biden and then Sanders. Non-viable candidates’ supporters can realign in the next vote.

7:57 p.m. Central: Sanders isn’t winning at every precinct. In West Des Moines 115, where Clinton won 2-to-1, Sanders was not viable. Buttigieg, Warren and Biden were viable and Buttigieg started with the largest group.

In Ankeny 10, Sanders, Buttigieg, Warren and Biden were all viable in the first round of voting.

7:43 p.m. Central: The first results are in for Grinnell College, with Sanders at 44.7 percent and Warren at 28.6 percent. Everyone else, who is below 15 percent, can realign in a second vote.

And at Winterset 2, it appears that Biden, Buttigieg, Warren and Sanders are all viable.

7:29 p.m. Central: As the voting is still underway, Trump has reportedly already won the Iowa caucus on the Republican side.

7:16 p.m. Central: At Des Moines East High School, the crowd looked overwhelmingly like they were supporting Sanders before the vote was taken.

7:08 p.m. Central: Standing room only at some of the caucuses.

Meanwhile, some Iowa caucus chairs are having problems using their smartphone apps to report the results. Some couldn’t download the app or log in at all.

The New York Times reported that these were mostly “user error” problems with downloading or logging into the app. The Democratic Party in Iowa has said this might delay some results in some areas, but it won’t affect reporting the results.

7:03 p.m. Central: At Winterset 1, you can see groups for Buttigieg and some people gathered for Yang also.

There are also unconfirmed reports that a Biden section at one caucus site had to be moved to make more room for Sanders’ section.

6:58 p.m. Central: A photo from Des Moines Precinct 45.

Don’t be surprised if it takes a while for results to come in. Here’s the line of people waiting to register to vote or change their party affiliation at DSM-55. As long as they are in line by 7 p.m., they can vote in the caucus. So it could take some time to get everyone registered.

6:52 p.m. Central: Earlier today, Yang led the way in Twitter mentions before the caucus, with #CaucusforYang holding steady at the #2 spot for much of the day, even ahead of #IowaCaucuses.


Yang will be speaking at a caucus site in Des Moines today.

6:34 p.m. Central: In some caucuses, supporters may make a case for their candidate before the voting occurs. Here’s a video of a Sanders supporting making their case at a satellite location at the Central Iowa Center for Independent Living.

Meanwhile, Buttigieg and Warren precinct captains are opening the doors as people wait in line to vote at Ankeny Precinct 10.

We’ve also just learned the results of the unreleased Iowa poll that had been taken down after the possibility that a name was left off.

6:11 p.m. Central: Precincts don’t officially start voting until 7 p.m. and to attend, you must be in line by 7. But doors are opening in some locations as voters get ready to make their choices known. Here is a video showing the doors opening at the Des Moines Precinct 56.

6:09 p.m. Central: Bernie Sanders reportedly won a satellite caucus in Scotland with 9 out of 19 of the attendees. Warren received six votes and Buttigieg received votes from three. These satellite caucuses are small compared to the people expected to vote in the main precinct caucuses in Iowa later tonight.

5:45 p.m. Central: Results from satellite caucuses are slowly coming in as we wait for the main caucuses to open their doors. Some results are noting that Sanders won five delegates at the Drake University caucus and Warren won 2.

  • Sanders also won the first satellite caucus at 12 p.m. today at an Ottumwa union hall. Fifteen people told showed up and 14 supported him, Iowa Starting Line shared. One person was there for Warren and did not realign for Sanders.
  • Sanders also got the most votes at a Cedar Rapids Public Library satellite caucus. Yang’s one supporter, after he was nonviable, moved to Warren. That caucus ended with nine for Sanders, six for Warren, five for Buttigieg, and four for Biden.
  • Sanders also won a Labor Temple satellite caucus in Lee County, while Klobuchar came away with two.
  • Klobuchar won several satellite caucuses in Florida. After the second alignment, there were 56 for Klobuchar, 44 for Buttigieg, and 43 for Biden.

Take a look at the live results table above and while you’re here, here is a live stream of the results from NBC that you can watch while you wait.

2020 Iowa Caucuses: Watch Live Results And Coverage | NBC News (Live Stream Recording)Watch live results and coverage of the 2020 Iowa caucuses on NBC News NOW, as Democratic presidential candidates compete in the first nominating contest of the 2020 election. » Subscribe to NBC News: » Watch more NBC video: NBC News Digital is a collection of innovative and powerful news brands that deliver compelling,…2020-02-04T06:03:43Z


The Frontrunners

Recent Iowa polls have given some strong frontrunners for today’s caucuses, according to 538. A Monmouth University poll for January 23-27 gave first place to Joe Biden at 29%, followed by Bernie Sanders at 25%, Pete Buttigieg at 20%, and Elizabeth Warren at 19%. Meanwhile, another Monmouth University poll handed a first place tie to Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders at 22%.

A Civiqs poll for January 23-27 in Iowa gave Sanders the win at 24%, followed by Warren at 19%, Buttigieg at 17%, and Biden at 15%. Amy Klobuchar hit the double digits here at 11%, followed by Andrew Yang at 5%. A Morningside poll for January 17-23 put Biden in first at 19%, followed by Buttigieg at 18%, Sanders at 15%, Warren at 15%, and Klobuchar at 12%. Tom Steyer came next with 6%.

A Change Research poll for Iowa January 22-26 placed Sanders in first at 30%, followed by Buttigieg at 23%, Biden at 22%, and Warren at 20%. Judging by how differently all these polls fall, today’s caucus is anyone’s to win. The strongest frontrunners have consistently been Biden, Sanders, Warren, and Buttigieg.

Caucus Rules

In most locations, the Iowa caucuses will start at 7 p.m. Central sharp. Although an exact time when the results will be announced isn’t known, Brookings estimated it will be around 11 p.m. Eastern on February 3 or 10 p.m. Central. NPR noted that the caucuses are actually expected to just last an hour, with some ending at 8 p.m. Central (9 p.m. Eastern.)

When the caucuses close, we’ll get three official numbers from the IDP:

  • The results of the first vote (first Presidential Preference)
  • The results of the second and final vote (second Presidential Preference)
  • And the “State Delegate Equivalency” (SDE)

In the Iowa caucus, when it’s time to cast the Presidential Preference Vote in each precinct, people stand in a section of the room that has been designated for their preferred candidate. If a candidate’s voters represent at least 15 percent of the people voting overall (sometimes a higher percentage if the precinct is smaller), then that candidate is “viable” and people in that group must fill out a Presidential Preference Card. Then they’re free to leave. If someone’s candidate is viable in the first round, they cannot vote in the second round, according to the Iowa Democratic Party. This turnout is referred to as the first presidential preference vote.

If your preferred candidate does not get 15 percent of the vote, you can take part in a second and final vote. During this vote, you can join a different candidate’s group, stay in your candidate’s group and try to acquire enough new people to be viable, or choose to be uncommitted. The numbers are then counted again. This is the final count and delegates are awarded based on this count. Because unviable candidates’ voters can move to different candidates for round two, it’s theoretically possible for whoever won the first round to not win the second round. From these votes, the SDE number is calculated.

The Iowa Democratic Party does not declare a caucus winner, it simply presents results to the public along with the SDE number (which is the number of state delegates allotted per candidate, technically called the State Delegate Equivalency number.) Most media sources declare the “winner” based on who has the highest SDE number and thus who will be bringing the most delegates to the convention. There are 41 delegates at stake in Iowa, plus eight undeclared delegates who act as superdelegates. These eight will only vote if someone doesn’t win the majority in the first ballot at the Democratic National Convention.

The Democratic National Convention will take place July 13-16. According to Ballotpedia, there will be 4,750 delegates total, including 3,979 pledged and 771 automatic (more commonly known as superdelegates.) In order to not have a contested convention, a candidate needs 1,991 pledged delegates on the first ballot. (Superdelegates aren’t allowed to vote on the first ballot.) If no candidate gets this majority of pledged delegates, then a second ballot (or more) will take place and both pledged and automatic delegates can vote this time. From then on, a candidate needs the majority of all delegates to win, which is more than 2,375 votes.

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