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Admitting defeat in Iowa, Sanders ramps up for New Hampshire

By Ann Marie Awad   |   Feb. 3, 2016 at 11:38 AM
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BURLINGTON, Vt., Feb. 3 (UPI) -- Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders admitted he lost to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Iowa by a small margin, but still boasted about his campaign's momentum Wednesday.

In an interview with NBC's Today, Sanders spoke from Burlington, Vt., where he was mayor years ago.

"Well, sure," he said. "She ends up getting about 22 delegates. We get about 20 delegates."

Sanders said his campaign is still looking at the results of the caucuses. Clinton's win by a razor-thin margin had Sanders' campaign questioning whether there were discrepancies in the results.

It wouldn't be unprecedented. In 2012, Mitt Romney was declared the winner of the Iowa Republican caucuses. However, eight precincts in five Iowa counties misplaced their votes for a Republican nominee, meaning former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., was not declared the true winner until almost two weeks later, when the Iowa Republican Party was able to sort it out.

The Democratic caucus process is more complex and shrouded in mystery compared with the Republican procedures. This year's Democratic caucuses -- laden with reports of long lines, confusing signage and incorrect headcounts -- leave some with a sense of 2012 deja vu.

"Although to tell you the truth, the Iowa caucus is so complicated, it's not 100 percent sure we didn't win it," Sanders said. "But we feel fantastic. We came a long, long way in Iowa and now we're in New Hampshire. We have a lot of momentum."

Sanders has a steep polling edge in New Hampshire, possibly because of his longtime career in neighboring Vermont. A survey out Wednesday from the University of Massachusetts shows Sanders leading with 63 percent in the Granite State, while Clinton lags behind at 30 percent. The first-in-the-nation primary is set to take place Tuesday in New Hampshire.

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