DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's Democratic Party said early Tuesday that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had gained an insurmountable lead over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the state's caucuses, but stopped short of officially declaring her the winner — while Texas Sen. Ted Cruz scored a decisive win over Donald Trump in the Republican caucuses, with Florida Sen. Marco Rubio a close third.
Early Tuesday, the Iowa Democratic Party said Clinton had been awarded 699.57 state delegate equivalents while Sanders had received 695.49 state delegate equivalents with one precinct outstanding. That precinct was worth 2.28 state delegate equivalents — not enough for Sanders to make up the deficit.
The Clinton campaign quickly issued a statement declaring victory, saying, "Statistically, there is no outstanding information that could change the results and no way that Senator Sanders can overcome Secretary Clinton's advantage." However, a number of news outlets, including Fox News, did not immediately call the contest for the former secretary of state.
In at least three precincts, the Democratic outcome was so close that party officials ordered a coin toss to determine which candidate should receive an extra county convention delegate, a longstanding tiebreaking method. The Des Moines Register reported that Clinton won all three coin flips at precincts in Des Moines, Davenport, and Ames.
Despite his apparent defeat, the result reflected a strong showing for Sanders, who had trailed Clinton by nearly 30 points over the summer. Sanders said the results sent a “profound message” to the media and political establishment.
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