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Buttigieg, Sanders are too close to call in Iowa

Voting concept - Ballot box with US state flag on background - Iowa

Iowa Democrats went to the polls and the Iowa Democratic Party’s new ap crashed so nobody knew who had won Iowa that night or the next day. On Tuesday night, the Iowa Democratic Party released partial results.

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg is claiming victory. The partial results show Buttigieg with a narrow lead over Bernie Sanders. Elizabeth Warren is in third, Joe Biden is in fourth just ahead of Amy Klobuchar.

“What a night, because tonight an improbably hope became an undeniable reality,” Mayor Buttigieg said. “We don’t know all the results, but we do know that, Iowa, you have shocked the nation because by all indications we are going on to New Hampshire victorious.”

If elected, Buttigieg, would be the first openly homosexual president in history. His husband would be the first “First Gentleman” in history. At 38 he would also be the youngest president in American history.

“This is our best and maybe our last shot,” Buttigieg said. “I say tonight with a heart full of gratitude, Iowa you have proven those skeptics wrong. By your efforts we have brought together a coalition of progressives, moderates, and what we like to call future former Republicans and that is how we will win in November.

Former Vice President Joe Biden spoke to supporters before leaving for New Hampshire.

“We are in a battle for the soul of a nation and it is demonstrated every hour that he (Trump) is President,” Biden said. “Our democracy is at stake.”

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Former Secretary of State John Kerry campaigned for Biden in Iowa. So did former Senator Bill Nelson of Florida.

“I imagine at some point the result will be announced and when those results are announced I have a good feeling that I will be doing well in Iowa,” Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, said. “Today marks the beginning of the end for Donald Trump, the most dangerous President in modern American history.”

“Our administration is going to take on the greed and corruption of the insurance and pharmaceutical industry and whether they like or not we are going to pass a Medicare for all program,” Sanders said. “Eleven years ago we bailed out the crooks on Wall Street and now it is their turn to help the middle class.”

Sanders was tied up in Washington with the Senate impeachment trial of Pres. Donald J. Trump (R). Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, D-New York, and film maker Michael Moore campaigned on the ground for Sanders.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, said, “Tonight we are one step closer to replacing the most corrupt President in our nation’s history.”

“A person’s values matter, a President’s values matter, and all Donald Trump believes in is himself,” Warren said. “Tonight, shows that Americans want big structural change.”

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn, thanked supporters and announced that she would get on a plane that night for New Hampshire to campaign for next week’s primary.

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Former New York City Mayor billionaire Michael Bloomberg did not participate in the Iowa Caucus and is not even on the ballot in some of the early states. Bloomberg is focusing on later states, including California, where he has already hired a campaign staff of over 800, more than all other campaigns combined. The California primary is on Super Tuesday with Alabama; but California has early voting so the polls opened in California on Monday.

CBS news polled caucus participants as to what their most important issue is. 41 percent said that healthcare was the most important issue to them. 21 percent said that climate change was the most important issue to them. Only 17 percent said that income inequality was their number one concern. Only fourteen percent said that foreign policy was the most important issue.

Only 37 percent of caucus goers said that it was most important that the candidate agreed with them on the issues. 61 percent of Caucus participants said that the candidate who had the best chance of beating Donald Trump was most important to them.

The Iowa Caucuses are not very representative of the country. 58 percent of Democratic caucus participants were women and just 42 percent were men. 91 percent of Iowa Caucus participants were White and just nine percent were minorities. 52 percent are college graduates and 48 percent were non-college graduates.

NBC News is reporting that less than 200,000 people participated in the Caucuses. The low turnout was a disappointment for Democrats who had hoped for more participation.

The failure of the Iowa Democratic Party to even count the votes has led to calls from some to end the caucuses and/or end Iowa’s place as the first state to vote in the primary and caucus process.

Former State Representative Perry O Hooper Jr., R-Montgomery, is a member of Trump’s national finance committee.

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Hooper told the Alabama Political Reporter that “young leftists have taken over the Democratic party.

Hooper suggested that Biden has been hurt by the Ukraine scandal, where he has been accused of nepotism and corruption for his son’s, Hunter Biden, landing a lucrative position on the board of Ukrainian gas company, Burisma.

Trump won 97 percent of the Republican Caucus vote which had high participation despite little suspense.

“Today that Party (the Democratic) is to the far left of where the American people are,” Hooper added. “I feel really confident that the President can carry Iowa in November.”

Alabama and most states have primaries where the voter just goes in and votes. With a caucus voters go to a town hall type building and campaigns try to talk them to caucus with them. Each caucus room is its own election battle. Somehow those results did not reach the Iowa Democratic Party with any accuracy.

At some point today, the Iowa Democratic Party will release results.

The Alabama presidential primaries will be on March 3.

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Original reporting by CBS News, Fox News, the Washington Post, and the Hill contributed to this report.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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