In 2016, it took 17 hours before the AP could confirm that Hillary Clinton had narrowly beaten Bernie Sanders in Iowa's Democratic caucuses. This time around, after chaos on caucus night, the final result may not be clear until after New Hampshire votes next week. The AP said Thursday that even with 99% of precincts reporting, it is unable to declare a winner because there is "evidence the party has not accurately tabulated some of its results." The AP said that according to results released Thursday night by the Iowa Democratic Party, Pete Buttigieg currently leads Bernie Sanders by 0.09%, which equals two state delegate equivalents out of the 2,152 counted.
"The Associated Press calls a race when there is a clear indication of a winner," says AP executive editor Sally Buzbee. "Because of a tight margin ... and the irregularities in this year’s caucus process, it is not possible to determine a winner at this point." Buttigieg declared victory after the caucuses ended Monday night. Sanders, who holds a formidable lead in the popular vote, did so on Thursday, the Hill reports. "Some 6,000 more Iowans came out on caucus night to support our candidacy than the candidacy of anyone else," he said in New Hampshire. "And when 6,000 more people come out for you in an election than your nearest opponent, we here in northern New England call that a victory." Democratic National Committee leader Tom Perez said Thursday that there should be a recanvass, which would involve checking paperwork from all 1,681 precincts. (Read more Iowa caucuses stories.)