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Bernie Sanders bashes Iowa Democratic Party and claims popular vote victory

Sanders declares victory despite recanvass
Sanders thanks Iowa for a "very strong victory" despite recanvass 23:56

Manchester, New Hampshire — Senator Bernie Sanders lambasted the Iowa Democratic Party for its inability to get the results of the Iowa caucuses out quickly, and he claimed victory in the popular vote in the caucuses.

"We are ... in Manchester, New Hamsphire, today, holding a press conference that should have occurred three nights ago in Des Moines, Iowa, but for the inability of the Iowa Democratic Party to count votes in a timely fashion," he said. "That screwup has been extremely unfair to the people of Iowa. It has been unfair to the candidates, all of the candidates and all of their supporters."

He thanked the people of Iowa "for the very strong victory they gave us in the Iowa caucuses Monday night," even though the results have still not been released in full.

"Our campaign is winning the popular initial vote by some 6,000 votes," he said, adding that in the realignment, he is leading by 2,500 votes. Pete Buttigieg leads in the count of state delegate equivalents (SDEs), which determines how Iowa's delegates will be apportioned in the race for the nomination. But Sanders called the difference separating the two "meaningless" because both Buttigieg and Sanders are likely to receive the same number of national delegates, given the small difference between them in SDEs.

Sanders also called Iowa's caucus "far too complicated."

The Iowa Democratic Party has still not finished releasing its results. As of late morning, he was close behind Pete Buttigieg in the Iowa caucus results with 26.1% and 97% of the results reported. Potentially complicating the issue is that Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez has called for an immediate recanvass of the caucuses.

Sanders' presidential campaign also 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.

"Bernie's multiracial, multigenerational, people-driven movement for change is fueling 2020's most aggressive campaign for president," Sanders' campaign manager Faiz Shakir said. "Working class Americans giving $18 at a time are putting our campaign in a strong position to compete in states all over the map."

The investment follows the campaign's single best fundraising month to date with over 1.3 million donations from more than 648,000 people. More than 219,000 new donors gave in January.

"Teacher" was the most common occupation of Sanders' January donors. The five most common employers were Amazon, Starbucks, Walmart, the United States Postal Service and Target. 

The average donation was $18.72.

Since the campaign's February launch, Sanders has raised more than $121 million from over 6.4 million individual donations with an average contribution of $18. More than 99.9 percent of donors have not maxed out and can give again. 

To date, over 1.5 million people have donated to the campaign. The total does not include an additional $12.7 million in transfers all made in 2019 from Sanders' other federal accounts.

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