Bernie Sanders Claims Victory in Iowa, Does Not Consider Himself a Frontrunner in Democratic Race: Town Hall

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders said he does not view himself as the frontrunner in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination during a CNN town hall held Thursday night in New Hampshire, although he does consider himself a winner in the Iowa caucus.

According to a recent Monmouth poll, Sanders came in first with 24 percent of voters throwing their support behind him. Former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg came in second place with 20 percent while former Vice President Joe Biden rounded out the top three with 17 percent.

With only 97 percent of the results from the Iowa Democratic caucus released Thursday, Sanders and Buttigieg were virtually neck and neck for the lead. Sanders was only one-tenth of a percentage point behind Buttigieg, who held the lead with 26.2 percent. Both candidates were tied for the number of Iowa delegates won in the caucus with 11 apiece.

When asked if he considered himself to be a frontrunner in the Democrat race for the presidential nomination, Sanders flatly said, "No."

"I think we have an excellent chance to win here in New Hampshire," Sanders told moderator Anderson Cooper. "We did very well. We won in Iowa. I think we are the strongest campaign to defeat the most dangerous president in modern American history."

Sanders voiced his disappointment with the delayed results of the Iowa caucuses, saying that the Iowa Democratic Party "screwed up."

"It really did distress me," Sanders said about the incomplete Iowa tallies. "I went all over the state of Iowa and the people there are really great people who take their responsibility of the first caucus in the country very, very seriously. It is really sad that the Democratic Party of Iowa, if I may say so, screwed up the counting process quite so badly."

bernie sanders
Democratic Presidential Candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks during a press conference at his New Hampshire campaign headquarters on February 06, 2020 in Manchester, New Hampshire. Justin Sullivan/Getty

"We've got enough of Iowa," Sanders said. "I think we should move on to New Hampshire."

Iowa's caucuses, which took place Monday, still remain fully untallied due to the malfunction of a voting app which was supposed to relay the results from each district to the Iowa Democratic Party. When that app failed, caucus workers used a telephone-based backup system that did not perform up to expectations.

"The bottom line is that we hit a stumbling block on the back end of the reporting of the data," Iowa Democratic Party (IDP) Chair Troy Price toldreporters Tuesday, "but the one thing I want you to know: this data is accurate. We also have a paper trail and documentation that we'll have been able to use to help verify the results."

With Democratic candidates already in New Hampshire to campaign for the primary, Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez called for a recanvass of Iowa Thursday to ascertain full and accurate results.

"Enough is enough," Perez tweeted. "In light of the problems that have emerged in the implementation of the delegate selection plan and in order to assure public confidence in the results, I am calling on the Iowa Democratic Party to immediately begin a recanvass."

Enough is enough. In light of the problems that have emerged in the implementation of the delegate selection plan and in order to assure public confidence in the results, I am calling on the Iowa Democratic Party to immediately begin a recanvass.

— Tom Perez (@TomPerez) February 6, 2020

"A recanvass is a review of the worksheets from each caucus site to ensure accuracy," Perez went on to explain. "The IDP will continue to report results."

A recanvass is a review of the worksheets from each caucus site to ensure accuracy.

The IDP will continue to report results.

— Tom Perez (@TomPerez) February 6, 2020