Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg declared victory in Monday’s Iowa causes even though no official results had been reported.
“By all indications, we are going on to New Hampshire victorious,” Buttigieg said during a rally at Drake University in Des Moines, according to the Washington Times.
“Tonight, an improbable hope became an undeniable reality,” he said.
“In addition to the tech systems being used to tabulate results, we are also using photos of results and a paper trail to validate that all results match and ensure that we have confidence and accuracy in the numbers we report,” the Iowa Democratic Party said in a statement. “The underlying data and paper trail is sound and will simply take time to further report the results.”
The Buttigieg campaign released its estimates that it won 28 percent of the delegates. The website Vox posted unofficial delegate count estimates that showed Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont with 298 delegates and Buttigieg with 268. The estimates came from the Sanders campaign.
“We don’t know all the results,” Buttigieg admitted. However, he emphasized the positive.
“Iowa, you have shocked the nation,” he said.
Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is the first openly gay candidate to run for president.
“There were skeptics, an awful lot of skeptics, who said, ‘Not now. Not this time. All this talk of belonging and bridging divides is too naive, too risky.’ So tonight I say, with a heart full of gratitude, Iowa, you have proved those skeptics wrong,” Buttigieg said, according to WHO-TV in Des Moines.
“We brought together an extraordinary coalition of Americans, progressives, moderates … and future former Republicans. And that’s how we’re going to win in November, because it’s about adding people to our cause, adding to our majority,” he said, according to The Hill.
“We have exactly one shot to defeat Donald Trump. We’re not going to do it by overreaching, we’re not going to do it by dividing, we’re not going to do it by saying, ‘It’s my way or the highway,'” Buttigieg said.
Other candidates also made upbeat speeches.
“We know there are delays, but we know one thing — we are punching above our weight!” Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota said, according to CNN.
Sanders also projected optimism.
“I have a good feeling, we are going to be doing very, very well in Iowa,” he said. “The first state in the country has voted … and today marks the beginning of the end for Donald Trump.”
Buttigieg made winning Iowa a critical piece of his campaign, with more than 30 offices and about 170 staff members, according to USA Today.
“I think it’s certainly true that we need a good performance here. It’s important for us to demonstrate that we have the ability to turn folks out. To make that closing argument. Not just to have an appealing message, but an operation that can succeed,” he said prior to the vote.
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