Sanders leads popular vote as first results emerge from Iowa

After a night and morning of high drama in Iowa, initial figures for the Iowa caucuses were finally released by Iowa Democratic Party chair Troy Price this afternoon.

With 62% of the vote counted, Bernie Sanders leads the popular vote with 26.2%, ahead of Pete Buttigieg with 25.1%, Elizabeth Warren with 20.7%, Joe Biden 13.1% and Amy Klobuchar 12.4%.

The results were finally released at a press conference at 5pm ET. Sanders trails slightly on the delegate count, with Pete Buttigieg ahead with 27%, followed by Sanders on 25%, Warren on 18%, Biden 16% and Klobuchar 13%.

Elections analayst and FiveThirtyEight editor in chief Nate Silver tweeted that the popular vote totals should not be ignored in favour of state delegate equivalent numbers.

“Watching CNN, I suppose I didn’t realize how much they’d lean in to state delegate equivalents as opposed to the other metrics,” Silver tweeted after the results emerged.

“I don’t necessarily think it deserves to be put on a pedestal.”

Both the Sanders and Buttigieg campaigns have released their own internal figures, and there was controversy last night after Buttigieg appeared to claim victory, only to clarify this morning that such claims were more figurative than literal.

In a statement following the release of the partial figures, Sanders’ senior adviser Jeff Weaver thanked the people of Iowa.

“We are gratified that in the partial data released so far it’s clear that in the first and second round more people voted for Bernie than any other candidate in the field,” Weaver said.

Regardless of the final result, the campaigns have moved on to New Hampshire which goes to the polls next Tuesday, with Sanders addressing a rally tonight before giving a response to President Trump’s State of the Union.

First official results from Iowa caucuses are released

Sanders addresses New Hampshire rally following Iowa caucuses