Former South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg raised eyebrows late Monday when he declared himself victorious in the Iowa caucuses despite the fact that zero percent of the vote had been reported.
"Tonight, an improbable hope became an undeniable reality," Buttigieg told a cheering crowd in Iowa. "So we don't know all the results, but we know by the time it's all said and done — Iowa, you have shocked the nation. Because by all indications, we are going on to New Hampshire victorious."
"Tonight, Iowa chose a new path," said one tweet from Buttigieg's official Twitter account. Another congratulated Iowans for having "proved those skeptics wrong."
The Iowa caucuses hit a snag Monday evening after technical difficulties in the reporting process that resulted in widespread chaos and delays. Official results are not expected to come in until Tuesday morning at the earliest.
Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, took to the podium late Monday night to declare himself the winner of the Iowa caucuses, despite the fact that zero percent of the vote had been reported.
"Tonight, an improbable hope became an undeniable reality," Buttigieg told a cheering crowd. "So we don't know all the results, but we know by the time it's all said and done — Iowa, you have shocked the nation. Because by all indications, we are going on to New Hampshire victorious."
Pete Buttigieg: "So we don't know all the results. But we know by the time it's all said and done—Iowa, you have shocked the nation!"
Buttigieg is one of several candidates to rally supporters as technical issues have delayed results of Iowa caucuses. https://t.co/LTrpSp6nOHpic.twitter.com/TdaMAZ0M4d
— ABC News (@ABC) February 4, 2020
Buttigieg's official Twitter account also sent out some tweets in which the former mayor appeared to declare victory.
"The skeptics said 'not now,'" said one tweet. "'Not this time.' All this talk of 'belonging,' of bridging divides, is too naive. Too risky. So tonight I say—with a heart filled with gratitude—Iowa, you've proved those skeptics wrong."
The skeptics said “not now.” “Not this time.” All this talk of “belonging,” of bridging divides, is too naive. Too risky.
So tonight I say—with a heart filled with gratitude—Iowa, you’ve proved those skeptics wrong. #IowaCaucuses
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) February 4, 2020
Here were the official results at the time Buttigieg declared victory:
The official results as Pete Buttigieg declares himself victorious in Iowa: pic.twitter.com/isUMd4lxgM
— Steve Kornacki (@SteveKornacki) February 4, 2020
Iowa is the first state to hold a contest in the Democratic primary. The caucuses began at around 7 p.m. CT, but the night ended without any official vote totals because of technical difficulties with the reporting process that resulted in widespread delays.
The Iowa Democratic Party later said it was performing "quality control" checks on the results because of those irregularities before releasing them out of an "abundance of caution."
Media reports later cited Democratic officials who said the delay was connected to the party's use of a new app to report precinct results, but the party denied that the app crashed.
Instead, the Iowa Democratic Party said in a statement that it found "inconsistencies in the reporting of three sets of results" and emphasized that it was merely a "reporting issue" and wasn't linked to any hacking or improper intrusion.
Heading into the Iowa caucuses, Buttigieg was in a distant third place, as progressive firebrand Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts eclipsed Buttigieg in the polls.
The Sanders campaign responded to Buttigieg's declaration of victory on Monday by telling reporters it would release its own internal polling numbers that would show Sanders as being ahead, even though they wouldn't show 100% of precincts.