The Democratic primary race appeared to be incredibly close during the Iowa caucus Monday night, where candidate Hillary Clinton reportedly won at least six precincts by way of a coin toss.
While the caucus numbers led former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley to drop out of the race, it left Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in a virtual tie in several precincts.
Some precincts solved the tie by flipping a coin and various reports show that in at least six different cases, Clinton was declared the winner of the precinct based off of the coin toss.
One of these coin tosses occurred at a precinct in Ames. David Schweingruber, an associate professor of sociology at Iowa State University and a Sanders supporter, told the Des Moines Register that after 484 eligible caucus attendees were recorded, only 424 participants were counted when they were split up by candidate, “leaving 60 apparently missing.”
“When those numbers were plugged into the formula that determines delegate allocations, Clinton received four delegates and Sanders received three — leaving one delegate unassigned,” Schweingruber said.
Because of the missing numbers, Schweingruber said the Sanders campaign challenged the results, and the Democratic Party officials they reached out to on a hotline recommended they settle the dispute with a coin toss.
Fernando Peinado, a political reporter at Univision, reported on Twitter that a precinct in Des Moines was also given to Clinton after being determined by a coin toss.
— Fernando Peinado (@FernandoPeinado) February 2, 2016
A similar result came from another precinct in Des Moines, according to Twitter user Sage Rosenfels:
— Sage Rosenfels (@SageRosenfels18) February 2, 2016
In a Newton precinct, New York Times reporter Trip Gabriel said he was told that Clinton was given an extra delegate via coin toss after she and Sanders were in a tie, 34-34.
Wild: Dean Lane says in his Newton precinct Hillary & Bernie tied 34-34. Flipped a coin. She won and got extra delegate. IOWA!
— Trip Gabriel (@tripgabriel) February 2, 2016
Twitter user Julia LaBua claimed that the “same situation, same result” occurred at a precinct in West Branch.
@tripgabriel Same situation, same result in West Branch.
— Julia LaBua (@JLaBua) February 2, 2016
Clinton also received an extra delegate in a precinct in Davenport, as shown by a video posted by Twitter user Andrew Tadlock.
— Andrew Tadlock (@andytadlock) February 2, 2016
While Monday night’s results showed Clinton with 699.57 delegates and Sanders with 695.49, Sanders said he looked at the difference as a technicality. “We started our campaign 40, 50 points behind,” he said. “Whether we lose by a fraction of a point or we win or whatever, we’re very proud of the campaign that we won.”
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