With 100 percent of precincts now reporting after a glitch with a results-reporting app caused statewide Democratic caucus results from Monday to eke in throughout the week, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont came out neck and neck, with Buttigieg just ahead.
It was the first contest to determine who will oppose President Donald Trump in this year’s general election.
Buttigieg ended up with 26.2 percent of the state's delegates, with Sanders receiving 26.1 percent, which translates to 13 national delegates for Buttigieg and 12 for Sanders, according to results from the Iowa Democratic Party and calculations from the Associated Press.
Buttigieg won handily in Carroll County, county leaders reported early this week.
Of the 100 county delegates Carroll County had — those later are translated to “State Delegate Equivalents” and then estimated national delegates — 34 went to Buttigieg, 25 to former Vice President Joe Biden, 19 to U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, 12 to Sanders, nine to U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and one to entrepreneur Andrew Yang.
Other statewide results: 18 percent for Warren, 15.8 percent for Biden, 12.3 percent for Klobuchar, 1 percent for Yang, 0.3 percent for hedge fan manager Tom Steyer and 0 percent for all other candidates.
Buttigieg, Sanders, Warren, Biden and Klobuchar had enough votes to receive national delegates from Iowa, with Klobuchar receiving just one.
“What happened in Iowa validates our vision that if we called on folks in every kind of community to come together in common purpose, that message can bring people forward and power the campaign to defeat Donald Trump,” Buttigieg said on Twitter Tuesday evening, when initial results placed him in the lead in Iowa.
In Carroll County, “Mayor Pete, Biden and Klobuchar had very good nights,” Carroll County Democratic Party Chairman Peter Leo said.
At one of Carroll County’s smaller caucus locations in Lidderdale, candidates received the following vote breakdown: 10 for Biden, seven for Klobuchar, six for Buttigieg and four for Warren.
Sanders had two initial supporters in Lidderdale but needed four to be viable. One of them went to Biden, the other to Warren.
Karmen Shriver, of rural Lanesboro, said it is time to elect a woman to lead the United States, and she thinks Minnesota’s senator Klobuchar is the best choice.
“She looks just like an Iowa lady,” Shriver said, “and, by God, I like Iowa ladies.”
In Carroll’s 1st Ward, two moderates, Biden and Buttigieg, were the only viable candidates and divided the delegates. Warren and Sanders, although they polled high statewide, didn’t reach viability among Carroll 1st-Ward voters.
A total of 81 people attended the convention in the Carroll High School auditorium.
Carroll 1st Ward has 424 registered Democrats, 738 independents and 648 Republicans.
Of those in attendance, 44 voted for Biden and 34 for Buttigieg, while three elected to stay with Sanders.
That gave Biden eight delegates and Buttigieg six delegates at the Carroll County Convention on March 21 from St. John Lutheran Church.
“I think the fact that Pete and Joe were the only two viable candidates shows that Carroll County in a way is a more moderate county, and I believe we need a moderate candidate since most of the people are in the middle,” said Kathy Richardson, Biden precinct captain.
She added, “He has a rural health plan that he developed with (former Iowa) Governor Tom Vilsack (1999-2007), so I think if (Biden) is elected president, I suspect our Governor Tom Vilsack will be back as agricultural secretary (he was President Obama’s agricultural secretary from 2009 to 2017). That would help out our farmers tremendously, because under Trump, our farmers have been hurt with the tariffs, more bankruptcies, more suicides.”
First preference results at Ward 1 were 38 for Biden, 22 for Buttigieg, 9 for Klobuchar, 7 for Sanders, 3 for Warren and 2 for entrepreneur Andrew Yang.
Candidates needed to have at least 12 voters to be viable. After the count, supporters of non-viable candidates had the chance to join a viable candidate’s delegation.
“I was pleased not only with our initial alignment — that we were clearly viable from the start — but we gained several delegates on the second alignment,” said Kyle Ulveling, Buttigieg precinct captain. “There were a lot of delegates from the nonviable groups who eventually went to Pete.”
Why is he supporting Buttigieg?
“I’ve always respected the more-seasoned, been-there-done-that-type candidate, but we had one of the most-seasoned, most-qualified, most-experienced candidates in 2016 (with Hillary Clinton), who lost,” Ulveling said.
He added, “Western Iowa has a great tradition of our sons and daughters serving in the military and when that becomes fewer and fewer in our candidates, those of them who have served and done well deserve commendation, and that’s one of the things I’ve respected about Buttigieg.”
Jean Guy is precinct captain for Klobuchar but switched to Biden after Klobuchar was not viable.
“I was pleased Amy had such a strong showing, because it’s a tough field out there, and she’s relatively a newcomer,” she said. “There are a lot of strong moderate candidates, and I felt very comfortable switching to Joe Biden after that.”
CJ Niles, who chaired the caucus, added, “I think you can tell that the enthusiasm is here, because there’s a wide range of candidates that people have a choice and can find somebody they can identify with. It says we have ideas and we’re working together and we’re looking forward to a great election year.”
Ulveling said he appreciated the civility demonstrated at the caucus.
“It shows you can come and talk politics without it devolving into name-calling,” he said. “People of different stripes, religions, age groups and financial status can still talk about things in an adult, mature manner.”
At another of Carroll County’s Democratic caucuses, Buttigieg supporters knew moments into the caucus they’d have a good night in Carroll’s 2nd Ward (which includes part of Maple River).
They had chairs lined up and clearly had the largest number of supporters.
And it held to the second count.
Buttigieg earned six delegates in that caucus, held at the First United Methodist Church in Carroll.
Klobuchar, Warren and former Vice President Joe Biden each earned four delegates.
Final votes for the candidates were 34 for Buttigieg, 24 for Biden, 22 for Klobuchar and 21 for Warren.
“I don’t want the party’s voters to end up polarized,” said Tony Hooper, 42, a Carroll High School chemistry teacher, in an interview. “I feel that Pete is a moderate choice, but he is very poised, very calm, and has tremendous presence and mental dexterity. I’ve listened to him give so many interviews.”
Jenny Holm, 29, a teaching associate in the Carroll schools, helped deliver Warren’s delegates and avert a shutout in the ward. Warren came just one person away from not being viable, ultimately earning four delegates.
“She’s progressive, but I do think she’s pragmatic and she’s very thorough,” said Holm, the Ward 2 precinct captain for Warren. “I believe that she’s tenacious. I believe that she’s going to work tirelessly for not just the people in this room, but for every single American. I do believe that she is a unifier.”