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Final Iowa caucus recount gives Buttigieg delegate win

US ELECTIONS (ADDS TEXT) | 09 de febrero de 2020

Final Iowa caucus recount gives Buttigieg delegate win 

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren addresses an audience in Concord, New Hampshire, on 09 February 2020. The first US national primary is to be held in New Hampshire on 11 February 2020. EFE/EPA/CJ GUNTHER

Washington, Feb 9 (efe-epa).- Almost a week after the Iowa caucuses, the Democratic Party announced Sunday that former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg won 14 of the state's 41 delegates, thus putting him in first place in the party's state caucuses and giving him a key boost as he heads into New Hampshire, due to hold its own primary this coming week.

According to the careful recount announced on Sunday by the state Democratic party, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders garnered the second highest number of delegates - 12 - followed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren with 8, former Vice President Joe Biden with 6 and Sen. Amy Klobuchar with 1.

The primary process is a mathematical process with the Democratic - and Republican - presidential nominees being decided based on the number of delegates they can garner to back them at the party's national convention, which formally designates the candidate.

In all, the Democratic National Committee calculates that there will be 3,979 delegates at the convention in Wisconsin in July, and thus the winning candidate will need 1,990 delegates - 50 percent plus one - to secure the presidential nomination.

To be sure, Iowa has only minimal clout in terms of its 41 delegates in the process, but since it is the first state to hold its primaries - although in its case they are "caucuses" - the corn-growing state captures the attention of politicians and the media and its caucus, over the years, has acquired special relevance in terms of providing an early look at the strength of different candidates.

With the results announced on Sunday afternoon, the Iowa Democratic Party thus closed a chaotic caucus recount - caused by a vote-counting app that failed to operate as advertised or hoped - that had engendered serious doubts about the whole process.

Initially, the party had said it would announce caucus results last Monday night, the very day of the caucuses, but unexpectedly the Democrats said they could not provide the results due to a "coding error" on the app the party used to tally the votes, a situation seized on by Republican President Donald Trump, who will run for re-election and highlighted the Iowa situation as evidence of Democratic incompetence.

The revelation that the company that developed the app, Shadow Inc., received money from both the Buttigieg and Biden campaigns also sparked a serious lack of confidence in the results among some Democrats.

US media outlets refused to declare a winner in the caucuses due to the chaotic process.

Since last Monday, however, the Democratic candidates have been busy in New Hampshire, where the nation's first primaries will be held on Tuesday. The New England state's primaries have acquired special importance this year in light of the Iowa fiasco. EFE-EPA


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Democrats looking for clear favorite in New Hampshire after Iowa caucus chaos

By Albert Traver

Manchester, New Hampshire, Feb 9 (efe-epa).- New Hampshire now has the task before it of providing the venue for the selection of a Democratic front-runner in the party's presidential primary race, but the candidate - so say most observers and voters - must be able to beat President Donald Trump, concern on that score rising in the wake of the chaotic Iowa caucus fiasco where both democratic socialist Bernie Sanders and moderate Pete Buttigieg proclaimed themselves the winner.

Sanders emerged from the Iowa caucuses with good support. He enjoys a couple of pluses in New Hampshire, where during the 2016 primary he got the support of 60 percent of the voters and had the key geographical advantage of being from neighboring Vermont. However, Buttigieg has the "surprise" factor that he exploited in Iowa.

But what can be expected in New Hampshire?

By law, the little northeastern state must hold the first primaries in the US - the vote in Iowa was technically a "caucus" - something that has been on the books since 1920 and makes New Hampshire, with just 1.35 million residents and some 980,000 registered voters, a key element in any presidential campaign.

Next Tuesday, the primaries to be held there will allocate just 24 Democratic delegates, a virtually negligible number given the fact that the party's presidential candidate must receive 1,990 delegates at the Democratic National Convention in Wisconsin in July. Nevertheless, the New Hampshire primary contest is the first primary snapshot of the race and a result that can dramatically influence the coming campaign.

One might think that it's not fair for the same state to go first in the primaries every four years, but it's also not "fair" for "A" to be the first letter of the alphabet or for Sunday to be the first day of the week, so said Bill Gardner, New Hampshire's top election official, some years ago.

Gardner is said to have defended New Hampshire's "first" primary status tooth and nail.

And it has been here that presidents and presidential candidates have been made and "un-made." For instance, Lyndon B. Johnson, dropped out of the 1968 election after obtaining poor results in New Hampshire, but Dwight D. Eisenhower emerged from the 1952 primary with a push that sustained itself all the way to the nomination, his election win and moving into the White House - even though he never even set foot in the state.

No other state, starting on Tuesday, will have seen so many candidates during the recent past, as they have scoured it by vehicle canvassing for votes. For one of the candidates - the winner - it will have been worth it to knock on hundreds, if not thousands, of doors in snowy weather because winning in New Hampshire is always a very valuable victory.

Buttigieg seeks to show that his Iowa performance was not a fluke, Sanders wants to confirm widespread hopes that he is electable - despite his controversial leftist policies - and Sen. Elizabeth Warren wants to improve her third-place position in the Iowa caucuses so that she doesn't descend into irrelevancy.

Ex-Vice President Joe Biden - a former and possibly faltering Democratic favorite - has been waving a white flag, it seems, by confessing that he is hoping to stage a comeback from the results in Iowa, where he came in fourth, although another such humiliation could undermine his viability as a candidate.

The rest of the Democratic field - including Sen. Amy Klobuchar, businessman Andrew Yang and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard - are looking to garner a decent percentage of the vote that will enable them to get new donations and favorable voter survey results so that they can keep their campaigns alive.

The remote little town of Hart's Location, deep in the White Mountains, will be the first in the nation to vote.

Its less than 50 residents will begin voting at midnight on Tuesday and a few minutes later the polls there will close and the results will circulate nationwide, although the rest of the state's precincts will not even have opened yet.

That's a tradition dating back to 1948 so as to facilitate the voting of railroad workers, and although it fell by the wayside for years it has now been resurrected as an electoral institution.

The Republicans will also hold their primaries in New Hampshire on Tuesday, although there is no serious competition for President Donald Trump as the GOP nominee for re-election. Nevertheless, the state's results will be something to keep in mind going forward.

The state voted Democratic in the presidential race in the last four elections, but in 2016, Hillary Clinton beat Trump here by only 2,500 votes, and the magnate is aiming to swing the state into the red column in the general election in November. EFE-EPA

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