- 03 февраля 2016, 01:10
- POLITICO. Top Stories
Bernie Sanders isn’t ready to concede in Iowa just yet, citing reports that some precincts were decided by a flip of a coin.
In a news conference after a campaign event in New Hampshire, the Vermont senator was asked whether he was ready to concede to Hillary Clinton, who was reported to be the winner by The Associated Press on Tuesday afternoon. Clinton won by a razor-thin margin, with 49.9 percent of the delegate count, compared with Sanders' 49.6 percent.
"We want to look at some of the numbers. Last that I saw it, we were four delegates down," Sanders said. “It may be the case that some delegates were selected based on the flip of a coin and not the best way to do democracy,” he said, cautioning that he hadn’t had much time to analyze the results and didn’t want to misspeak.
It’s not clear how many delegates were awarded by coin tosses, a longstanding practice that can be used when an even number of caucus-goers are split between two candidates in precincts that have an odd number of delegates. The extra delegate goes to the winner of the coin toss.
The Iowa Democratic Party knows of seven state-wide coin flips, according to the Des Moines Register, but others could have happened since there was no requirement to report if a win was determined by a toss unless the official used an specific app.
Reports that Clinton had won five of six tosses began circulating on Twitter Monday evening while videos of some tosses went viral.
The delegates determined are county and not state, so they have less of an influence, but the Sanders campaign still wants to get to the bottom of it.
"It’s not about contesting the results, Chuck. Look it was a very, very close election as everybody knows," Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver told MSNBC's Chuck Todd on Tuesday. "There are a few questions hanging out there that we’d like to get answered. It’s not about contesting the answer, but I think we owe it to the people who supported Senator Sanders in Iowa to make sure we understand all the facts, that’s all."
At the press conference, Sanders said that if it turns out Clinton is still the winner, he won't be losing any sleep: "I slept like a log last night."
And he reiterated a point his campaign had been making in recent weeks – that a second-place finish in Iowa is a success, considering he started so low in the polls.
"We did phenomenally well," he added.
Sanders was also asked about his chances in the New Hampshire primary next Tuesday. The RealClearPolitics average has him ahead of Clinton by 18 percentage points.
“Let’s be very clear — Secretary Clinton ran here in 2008, Secretary Clinton won here in 2008, Secretary Clinton has a very formidable political organization and, as you know, has virtually the entire political establishment on her side, so you know, we are taking nothing for granted,” Sanders said.