Merrimack, New Hampshire — Three days after Pete Buttigieg declared victory in Iowa, the former South Bend mayor said the campaign is “absolutely electrified” but he did not repeat his victory claim. Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez has called for a recanvass “in light of the problems that have emerged in the implementation of the delegate selection plan.”
At a veterans event Thursday afternoon, Buttigieg said this last week has been “extraordinary,” but noted that he has work to do in order to convince New Hampshire voters to support him. According to the Real Clear Politics polling average, Bernie Sanders is leading most polls in the first-in-the-nation primary state. “We are absolutely electrified by the energy that we are coming here with and by the extraordinary validation of this campaign’s vision that we had in Iowa on Monday,” Buttigieg said. But, he added: “New Hampshire is not the kind of place to let Iowa or anybody else tell you what to do.” Buttigieg first declared victory late Monday night without any verified results from the state party. While campaigning in Laconia, New Hampshire, on Tuesday, Buttigieg said it was an “astonishing victory” for the campaign after he was shown leading the state delegate equivalents (SDEs) count. With 97% of precincts reporting results on Thursday, Buttigieg held a razor-thin lead in the SDEs count ahead of Sanders. But as of Thursday, Sanders led Buttigieg in the popular vote.
By Thursday, Sanders had also moved onto New Hampshire. In Manchester, he declared a “decisive victory” due to the popular vote despite the lack of final caucus results.
Sanders criticized the Iowa Democratic Party for the “screwup” but during a question-and-answer period with reporters, he admonished the media for emphasizing delegate totals over the popular vote. “I got to say this to my friends in the media, you guys have been putting too much emphasis on the SDEs,” Sanders said. He also said that he did not plan to call for a recount of the caucus results, which he said would only show that he had won. The Iowa Democratic Party said on Tuesday that the app used by precincts to report the caucus results experienced a glitch. Perez has called for a recanvass to “assure public confidence in the results.” Buttigieg’s campaign also announced in an email to supporters that they have raised $2.7 million from more than 60,000 donors since Tuesday morning. While Sanders’ campaign did not release any fundraising numbers since the caucuses, the campaign announced Thursday it will ramp up staffing in Super Tuesday states and make an aggressive $5.5 million television and digital ad buy in 10 states. That will include an expansion of prior investments in Texas and California, following a $25 million January fundraising haul.