Pete Buttgieg Claims Iowa Victory for Second Time, But Still No Official Winner as Result Delays Continue

Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg made a second early claim of victory, after partial results of the Democratic Iowa Caucus were released Tuesday night.

Buttigieg raised eyebrows by claiming victory on Monday night, before results were announced. The Democratic primary race was thrown into chaos by long delays in reporting the caucus results. The final outcome was still unknown as of Tuesday night, although officials did release partial results. With 62 percent of the vote counted, Buttigieg was leading the race, tying with Senator Bernie Sanders in pledged delegates.

"Results are in from a majority of precincts and they show our campaign in first place," Buttigieg told supporters after the partial results were announced. "A campaign that some said had no business even making this attempt has taken its place at the front of this race to replace the current president with a better vision for the future."

Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren also had strong showings in the early results. Former Vice President Joe Biden underperformed, coming in a distant fourth. However, a full 38 percent of results had yet to be counted and the final outcome could be significantly different than current standings.

The results were held up do to what Democratic party official characterized as "inconsistencies" due to technical problems in the app used to report the results. It is not clear why only 62 percent of the vote was released Tuesday night. Prior to the partial results being announced, Buttigieg proclaimed himself the victor a different crowd of supporters.

"We don't know all the results, but we know by the time it's all said and done, Iowa, you have shocked the nation," said Buttigieg on Monday. "By all indications, we are going on to New Hampshire victorious."

Pete Buttigieg
Pete Buttigieg speaks to supporters of his presidential campaign in Laconia, New Hampshire on February 4, 2020. Spencer Platt/Getty

The early claims of victory irked several of Buttigieg's Democratic rivals and left many observers questioning how he could make such a claim before the results were known. He later explained that his claims were based on internal numbers from his campaign.

The results also prompted a number of conspiracy theories. One of the most prevalent on social media centered on the Buttigieg campaign having paid $42,500 to a technology company called "Shadow Inc," the same company that later produced the faulty app.

A spokesman for the Buttigieg campaign told Newsweek that the company was contracted to help deliver text messages to contact voters, work said to be totally unrelated to any other apps they built for the DNC.

FEC filings confirm that the company was also used by the Biden campaign, as well as the short-lived presidential campaign of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. Services the company provided to the Buttigieg campaign are listed as "software rights and subscriptions" in the filings.

The outcome of the Iowa caucus may eventually validate Buttigieg's claims of victory, but officials have released no timeline for when the final results will be released.