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Report: Errors found in Democrats' Iowa caucus results; delegate count under review

Clinton defeated Sanders in Iowa by a few delegates and about 0.3 percentage points, according to Tuesday's official results.
By Doug G. Ware   |   Updated Feb. 5, 2016 at 9:47 PM
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DES MOINES, Iowa, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- Caucus results that handed Hillary Clinton a triumphant victory over Bernie Sanders in Iowa earlier this week may not be exactly how they were officially listed.

Democratic party officials have reportedly confirmed that parts of Monday's results are being reviewed after some purported discrepancies were uncovered.

The Des Moines Register reported Friday that a state party spokesman had confirmed at least one discrepancy in the delegate count.

"Both the Sanders and Clinton campaigns have flagged a very small number of concerns for us, and we are looking at them all on a case-by-case basis," Iowa Democratic Party spokesman Sam Lau told the Register.

The state's Democratic chairwoman, Andy McGuire, said earlier this week that an audit would not be performed and that Clinton's win was assured.

A review of the final tally could potentially have an impact on Sanders' finish. The Vermont senator performed well in Iowa, but fell just short of a victory. Clinton's win margin was just a few delegates and about 0.3 percentage points -- making Monday's the closest result in the state's caucus history.

The Iowa caucuses, for both Democrats and Republicans, are considered critical events of primary season -- the results from which, most analysts believe, could literally make or break a candidate's campaign.

Sen. Ted Cruz won the Republican vote, which was subsequently disputed by both Donald Trump and Ben Carson. The final tally listed Cruz ahead of Trump by more than 3 percentage points and 6,000 votes. Carson finished fourth, behind Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

The Register said it has received numerous reports of discrepancies between final results posted online by state Democratic officials and those announced at various precincts Monday night.

In one precinct cited by the Register's report, Sanders won 19 delegates to Clinton's 7 -- but the party's official results differed by one delegate in Clinton's favor.

"19-7 is right," Pablo Silva, secretary of that precinct, said. "On Monday night, the Iowa Democratic Party felt we had not done it right and they attempted to correct what they saw as errors."

Lau confirmed that particular discrepancy, the Register reported.

However, there would need to be many more discrepancies for Iowa to hand Clinton a retroactive defeat. The example cited above wouldn't even amount to one-tenth of a delegate in Sanders' favor.

Clinton's camp has been critical of Sanders this week for suggesting "conspiracy theories" about the Iowa vote. Her Iowa campaign manager, Matt Paul, wrote a post online earlier Friday titled, "Hillary Clinton won Iowa. End of story."

"Now that the caucus is over, they are calling into question the results that were reported by Iowans," he wrote. "It was a close contest and a hard fought campaign. But Hillary won."

"They'll look at the numbers reported that night, check the math and figure out if there are any discrepancies or misallocation of delegates," Paul said of the Iowa Democratic Party. "Even if the Sanders campaign were to win all of their challenges  --  the marginal bump they receive in support would not be enough to overcome Hillary Clinton's win margin. Those are just the facts."

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