US election: Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders leading in the Iowa caucuses

5 February 2020, 10:15

Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders are leading the results
Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders are leading the results. Picture: PA

Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders are leading in partial results for the Iowa caucuses, which is the first step in deciding who will be the Democrat candidate to potentially take on President Donald Trump.

After 71% of the results were released, Buttigieg was leading with 26.8% of the vote, while Sanders was a close second with 25.2%.

Elizabeth Warren was in third with 18.4% and Joe Biden in fourth with 15.5%.

With more than a quarter of the votes left to be announced, the ordering is expected to change.

The Iowa caucuses - the first in a series of votes across US states to decide the next Democrat candidate for the White House race - is a key moment as the last few winners went on to become the party's nominee.

But the vote on Monday was marred with days-long delays after technical issues hindered the release of results, leading to just the partial outcome being known from Wednesday morning.

US Election 2020: What are the Iowa caucuses and how do they work?

(left to right) Candidates Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg.
(left to right) Candidates Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg. Picture: PA

If Mr Buttigieg, the former South Bend, Indiana, mayor, were to secure the Democratic nomination and go on to win the White House, he would be the first openly gay president in the US.

In a tweet after 62% of the results were released, he wrote: "What happened in Iowa validates our vision that if we called on folks in every kind of community to come together in common purpose, that message can bring people forward and power the campaign to defeat Donald Trump."

Meanwhile, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who was leading in the popular vote, turned his attention instead to Mr Trump and the ongoing impeachment case.

He said: "Tomorrow the votes may not be there to impeach Trump.

"But I'm absolutely confident that in November the votes will be there to beat Donald Trump."

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