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Iowa Democratic Party To Release 'Majority' Of Caucus Results

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

In a press conference just moments ago, Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Troy Price shared that 62% of results are in there, but he did not share a delegate count or breakdown of that vote. The press conference came a day after the confusion and massive technical problems held up the reporting of results in Iowa. NPR political correspondent Scott Detrow is covering the presidential campaign. He's with us now from the airport in Manchester, N.H., where Bernie Sanders just arrived from Iowa.

Hey there, Scott.

SCOTT DETROW, BYLINE: Hey, Audie.

CORNISH: So I'm sure, like every campaign, everyone's kind of - has one eye on the cable networks. Is anyone saying anything yet about...

DETROW: Well, we...

CORNISH: ...This announcement?

DETROW: There's a chance that we could get this announcement in terms of the full details of what it means as I talk to you right now. We are waiting for the clarity and for the Associated Press to walk through how exactly these breakdowns come out. What we do know and what these initial (unintelligible) seem to be confirming is that Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders had a really good night. They seem to be toward the top of the field here. Again, we're waiting for that official notice from the Associated Press on...

CORNISH: And these are both candidates who spoke in that manner last night, right?

DETROW: That's right. Pete Buttigieg went as clear (ph) to effectively - went as far as to, effectively, declare himself the winner of the Iowa caucuses last night when there were no results in at all. That's something that Bernie Sanders' campaign expressed a lot of frustration with. But then right after they expressed that frustration, Bernie Sanders' campaign released its own count of about 40% of delegates, saying, well, in the interest of transparency, here are our own numbers that we're sharing. So in short, there's been a whole lot of confusion. And this really does matter politically because as we've talked about over and over again, the Iowa caucuses play an outsized role. It's not about the delegates that are assessed from the winner of Iowa. It's about the conversation of this is the person who won the first contest. Here's the momentum. That was totally taken away. And instead, we've had almost 24 hours of total confusion and several candidates claiming victory.

CORNISH: What does that mean for the candidates who have been trying to break into the top two, right? Your Elizabeth Warrens, for example - what does that sound like from their campaign today?

DETROW: Elizabeth Warren was one of many candidates expressing frustration at this situation. The Iowa Democratic Party just released a count of 62% of precincts, which is, of course, not 100%. And Warren, earlier today in New Hampshire, was making the case - and she wasn't alone - that this actually adds more confusion than anything else to the process.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ELIZABETH WARREN: I just don't understand what that means to release half of the data, so I think they ought to get it together and release all of the data. That's what we need.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: So they should wait till they have it all?

WARREN: Well, they should get all of the data. We're doing what we can to help, and we have called on other campaigns to do the same.

CORNISH: And I want to mention now we are getting confirmation, Scott, that the state party chair, Troy Price, and the state party have released more data, actually. In the state delegate equivalent count, Pete Buttigieg leads with about 27%, as you said, and Bernie Sanders follows with about 25%. Price also said that what happened last night was unacceptable. He offered an apology. So this has had great effect on Iowa itself - right? - on the party itself?

DETROW: Yeah, and this result - again, partial result - before any of the problems happened, we knew we were going to get a few different numbers out of Iowa. But what matters was the state delegate equivalent. That is how many delegates the candidates are walking out of here with. Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders are neck and neck at the top of this contest. And that really reshapes the race, at least in the next week before New Hampshire votes because you have had a clump of four candidates, all close together; two candidates in the more moderate wing - that's Pete Buttigieg and Joe Biden - and then Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren on the progressive side. This elevates Buttigieg and Sanders going forward. And one thing I'll be looking for is whether Buttigieg and Sanders draw contrasts with each other, which would be pretty interesting because you cannot have two more different backgrounds and views of governing the country than Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg - an old - somebody approaching 80 and somebody who's 38 years old, among many other things.

CORNISH: We're going to keep updating this throughout the hour. That's NPR's Scott Detrow.

Thanks so much.

DETROW: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.