Sanders wins missing precinct; Clinton wins Iowa by 0.2 percent

By Andrew V. Pestano Follow @AVPLive9 Contact the Author   |   Updated Feb. 2, 2016 at 12:46 PM
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DES MOINES, Iowa, Feb. 2 (UPI) -- Bernie Sanders won the missing precinct that held back official Iowa Democratic caucus results on Tuesday, but Hillary Clinton scraped by with a victory of 0.2 percent.

The last precinct to report -- Polk County's precinct No. 42 -- reported a Sanders win with 58.3 percent of support above Clinton's 41.7 percent. In Iowa with all 1,683 precincts reporting, Clinton won with 49.8 percent to Sanders' 49.6 percent.

"So as I stand here tonight -- breathing a big sigh of relief -- thank you Iowa!" Clinton said during a speech Monday night before the final numbers were in.

Matt Paul, Clinton's Iowa campaign manager, previously declared the former secretary of state the victor.

"After thorough reporting -- and analysis -- of results, there is no uncertainty, and Secretary Clinton has clearly won the most national and state delegates," Paul wrote in a statement. "Statistically, there is no outstanding information that could change the results and no way that Sen. Sanders can overcome Secretary Clinton's advantage."

Rania Batrice, spokeswoman for the Sanders campaign, previously said "we definitely don't feel comfortable yet" because of an outstanding result in a Polk County precinct and over questions about the results in several other counties.

Sander was once considered to have no chance against Clinton but his campaign launched an impressive grass-roots strategy to the surprise of many. He said the result was a "virtual tie."

"I think the people of Iowa have sent a very profound message to the political establishment, to the economic establishment and, by the way, to the media establishment," Sanders told supporters.

Democratic Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders Participates In Town Hall Meeting In Iowa
Pool photo by Justin Sullivan/UPI

"When we started this campaign, almost everyone wrote us off. We were down 41 percent in the polls... and those were some of the good ones. They said our ideas were radical and that we could never compete with the big-money fundraising of Hillary Clinton and her super PACs," Sanders wrote in a statement. "Well, you showed them tonight."

In six precincts, Clinton won additional delegates by way of a coin toss due to a numerical discrepancy that led to a dispute in the results. Democratic Party officials ordered the results to be settled through a coin toss.

In precinct 2-4 in Ames, 60 caucus participants apparently disappeared before final counting began. A total of 484 eligible caucus attendees were initially counted, but when each candidate's preference group was counted there were only 424.

The Democratic Party's delegate allocation formula was then used, where Clinton received four delegates and Sanders received three -- one delegate remained, which was assigned to Clinton after the coin toss.

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley suspended his presidential campaign after failing to reach 1 percent.

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