DES MOINES — The delayed waves of partial results showing Mr. Buttigieg and Mr. Sanders ahead in Iowa, with Mr. Biden far behind, provided a measure of clarity in the race.
Yet there was little evidence in the data released Tuesday that any candidate was on the way to the kind of dominant victory that would have a good chance of transforming the Democratic race. No one appeared on track to receive more than about a quarter of the vote, and five held support in the double digits — a further indication that the Iowa caucuses were unlikely to play a decisive role in deciding the Democratic nominee.
And the halting and hectic process in Iowa was an unsightly spectacle for the Democratic Party at the start of its presidential nominating process, offering President Trump an easy target for gloating and ridicule and raising serious questions about whether Iowa would be allowed to retain its first-in-the-nation status in future elections. Read more here.
WASHINGTON — New Iowa caucus results released late Tuesday night showed Pete Buttigieg continuing to lead the Democratic field, just ahead of Senator Bernie Sanders. Senator Elizabeth Warren remained in third place, and former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. was a distant fourth. Seventy-one percent of precincts have now reported results.
The new results from the Iowa Democratic Party followed an initial tranche of reporting, which came hours earlier Tuesday afternoon and showed Mr. Buttigieg with a narrow lead over Mr. Sanders.
The percentages remain virtually unchanged from the results released earlier in the day.
Mr. Buttigieg has 26.8 percent of state delegate equivalents, Mr. Sanders has 25.2 percent, Ms. Warren 18.4 percent, Mr. Biden 15.4 percent and Senator Amy Klobuchar 12.6 percent.
CONCORD, N.H. — Mr. Biden on Tuesday night brushed off news that in partial returns he was in fourth place in Iowa, saying he was focused on the outcomes in the first four early-voting states and appearing to dismiss the idea of contesting results in Iowa.
“I’m not satisfied with anything, ever,” he told reporters after a campaign event here. “As long as I came out of there with delegates and there’s been a full count — last I heard they didn’t have the rural counties counted, and I was number four, I was at 15-something — look, I said from the beginning, I want to do well in Iowa. The point is, I count the four. The first four are the key.”
Asked whether he would contest the results amid widespread complaints about the difficulties of reporting the returns, Mr. Biden appeared to say no, as he spoke over loud music.
“We’re going to wait until all the results are in,” he said. “They’re not all in yet, are they?”
Despite the makings of a significant blow to his campaign, Mr. Biden appeared upbeat during two campaign stops here on Tuesday, laughing about how happy he was to be in New Hampshire — a wry allusion, perhaps, to the chaos in Iowa.
“Twenty-four hours later they’re still trying to figure out what the heck happened in Iowa,” he said. “At this rate, New Hampshire might get the first vote after all.”
The crowd laughed and applauded.
He also repeatedly criticized Mr. Sanders by name over his support for “Medicare for all,” the single-payer health care proposal over which they have battled before — but some of his criticism was sharper Tuesday night, suggesting Mr. Sanders was not being straightforward about the plan’s impact on middle class taxes and swiping at him for giving an evasive interview about how much it would cost.
“God love Bernie, as my mom would say, were she here,” he said. “He’s talked about a single-payer Medicare for all system for the past 30 years. It hasn’t moved a single inch in Congress. It’s not going anywhere now. The Democrats don’t support it.”
CONCORD, N.H. — Pete Buttigieg opened his final event of the night on Tuesday with an admission.
“Well, I haven’t had a whole lot of sleep in the last 48 hours, but I am having a very good day,” he told supporters in Concord. “We are having a very good day.”
Indeed, the crowd here in the Granite State’s capital seemed acutely aware of the fact that partial results from the Iowa caucuses had put their preferred candidate in first place there — at least for the moment. Supporters welcomed Mr. Buttigieg onstage with a standing ovation, and at one point a supporter shouted, “You’re No. 1!”
Voters here, some still undecided and others firmly in Mr. Buttigieg’s camp, said they were encouraged by the partial results, which they said solidified their belief that he would be a viable candidate well beyond Tuesday’s primary in New Hampshire.
Cathy Martone, 66, of Concord, said she had at one point wanted to vote for Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado, but did not believe he would “go that far.”
“It validates things,” she said of the early Iowa results for Mr. Buttigieg. “He’s never had this much press. I saw him at a high school where he had one camera or two. This is phenomenal.”
After the Iowa debacle, voters here said, it’s up to them and their neighbors to lead the way.
“This puts a lot of pressure on New Hampshire,” Ms. Martone said. “We can’t screw up.”
Tom Perez, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said in a statement on Tuesday night that “what happened last night should never happen again.”
“We have staff working around the clock to assist the Iowa Democratic Party to ensure that all votes are counted,” he said. “It is clear that the app in question did not function adequately. It will not be used in Nevada or anywhere else during the primary election process. The technology vendor must provide absolute transparent accounting of what went wrong.”
The app grew out of a broader push by Democrats to catch up to Republicans in digital advertising and organizing after the 2016 election. Read more here.
MILFORD, N.H. — His charter flight was delayed in Des Moines so his staff could participate in a call with the Iowa Democratic Party. Slow results prevented him from celebrating as he had hoped.
But by the time Mr. Sanders took the stage for his first post-Iowa rally here in Milford on Tuesday, he was at least positive he had done well in the nation’s first nominating contest the night before, lifted by partial results that had been released just moments earlier.
“For some reason in Iowa, they’re having a little bit of trouble counting votes,” he said. “But I am confident that here in New Hampshire, I know you’ll be able to count your votes on election night. And when you count those votes, I look forward to winning here in New Hampshire.”
It was not quite the triumph he wanted, but it was good enough.
LOS ANGELES — While we’re all poring over the partial results of less than 170,000 votes in Iowa, some perspective from the West: Roughly 15 million voters in California are receiving their mail-in ballots this week.
Early voting in California’s Super Tuesday primary begins this week. The primary on March 3 will be the earliest the state has voted in the last few presidential primary election cycles.
Several campaigns — most notably those of Michael R. Bloomberg and Mr. Sanders — have already begun to advertise in the state. Mr. Bloomberg toured the state on Monday, his fourth visit since he announced his presidential campaign in December.
The state has long been a kind of fund-raising A.T.M. for politicians, but the early primary has prompted more campaigning in the state, which will send 494 delegates to the Democratic National Convention — more than any other state.
But for those who groaned waiting for the Iowa results to trickle in: just wait for California. The March 3 Election Day is when voters cast their ballots, but it is not necessarily when we find out who wins.
With voting laws to encourage more participation, the secretary of state is cautioning, as it has for years, that it may take several days to count all the ballots. That, they say, is a feature of the system, not a flaw.
PHILADELPHIA — Michael R. Bloomberg is gearing up for his second rally of the day, at the National Constitution Center, which more than 1,000 people are registered to attend. Milton and Phyllis Trachtenburg, who had heard about the event through a Facebook ad, were waiting in one of two long lines to get inside.
“We’ve been around a long time, and we’re seeing what’s happening with all the other candidates,” said Mr. Trachtenburg, who said he’d previously supported Mr. Biden. “They’re eliminating themselves.”
The Trachtenburgs had not seen the partial results from Iowa, having left home for the rally before the early numbers were released. “I really feel there’s going to be an upset,” Ms. Trachtenburg said. “I think Bloomberg has more than a fighting chance, and judging by tonight,” she added, motioning to the crowd behind her, “we’re not the only ones who feel that way.”
Inside the sprawling space, the Bloomberg campaign provided beer, wine, hoagies and Philadelphia Tastykakes, as people filled the main lobby and a wraparound balcony overlooking it. An a cappella group from the University of Pennsylvania performed.
Eileen Gadsden, who runs a tech start-up and heard about the rally from a local City Council member, said she was undecided and had come to learn more about Mr. Bloomberg. “I’m from Philly, Biden is native to us,” she said, “but I need somebody who’s going to win.”
Mr. Bloomberg’s campaign had seized the moment of chaos in the Democratic primary on Tuesday to stress a broader focus beyond Iowa and New Hampshire. Seeking to emphasize just how robust its infrastructure was little more than three months since Mr. Bloomberg became a candidate, the campaign said it had hired more than 2,100 staff members — 450 of them in battleground states like Pennsylvania.
Zoe Zaharakis, a freshman at Temple University, had heard about the event from a friend in Bethlehem, Pa., and brought along two of her roommates as she said she was weighing a choice between Mr. Bloomberg and Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.
Others at the rally were more certain of their support. Carol Madden had made her own sign, scrawling “Tonight PA, tomorrow PA Avenue,” on a piece of cardboard. “I don’t like Mike,” Ms. Madden said, “I love Mike.”
Once the program got underway, Mr. Bloomberg’s campaign sought to hit a lot of notes, with speeches touching on a range of issues — gun violence, climate change, marriage equality, reproductive rights and the federal courts.
While he repeated his pledge to support the Democratic nominee regardless of who it may be, Mr. Bloomberg also framed the numbers from Iowa as a clear opportunity. “The results from Iowa underscore that we need a campaign that can build a coalition broad enough to unite the party and strong enough to go toe-to-toe with Donald Trump — and beat him,” Mr. Bloomberg said, going on to joke about what he called “the elephant in the room.”
“People ask me, do you really want a general election between two New York billionaires?” he said. “To which I say, who’s the other one?”
Democratic Party leaders have denied that the faulty Iowa caucus app was hacked and stated that paper records were also collected from each precinct. The creator of that app has said that the integrity of the data was not affected by technical issues.
But as the Iowa Democratic Party released partial results from Monday’s caucuses on Tuesday, they were corroded by a cloud of conspiracy theories, many perpetuated by prominent Republicans.
President Trump’s campaign manager and two of his sons used the word “rigged.” Brad Parscale, the head of Mr. Trump’s re-election effort, used it in a question:
Kayleigh McEnany, a spokeswoman for the Trump campaign, made it more declarative with an exclamation mark.
In a TV interview, Ms. McEnany elaborated, suggesting it was rigged specifically against Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, according to NBC News. Mr. Trump’s adult sons offered their own versions of this theory — one that has been previously promoted by their father.
Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina expanded on this, implying that the app debacle aimed to cover up poor performance by Joseph R. Biden Jr., the former vice president.
Others twisted a security exercise run by Robby Mook, the former campaign manager for Hillary Clinton, into an accusation that Mr. Mook had helped build the failed app.
Mr. Mook had no role in the app. As part of his role with the Defending Digital Democracy Project (known as D3P) at Harvard University, Mr. Mook worked with the school to do a technology-free tabletop exercise practicing how to respond to cyberincidents and the spread of misinformation with the Iowa Democratic Party and the Republican Party of Iowa.
“We were trying to prepare them for this,” Mr. Mook said in an interview Tuesday.
Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs reiterated that Mr. Mook was not involved in creating or testing the app. “Members of the D3P team, including Eric Rosenbach and Robby Mook, were not involved in vetting, approving or testing specific technologies used by the parties on Caucus Night at any time before, during or after this exercise,” the school said in a statement.
In a joint statement, Iowa’s three Democratic representatives — Abby Finkenauer, Cindy Axne and Dave Loebsack — released a statement defending the caucuses as providing “the foundation of how our parties and our nation select their next president.”
“This situation is disappointing, and requires accountability and transparency moving forward,” the representatives said. “We must ensure complete accuracy so that every Iowan’s voice is heard and counted, and we thank the many volunteers that have now worked night and day to finalize a result that the nation and the whole world can know is fair.”
LACONIA, N.H. — Less than an hour after partial results from the Iowa caucuses were released, Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., greeted supporters inside a middle school gym here and opened his speech with the good news for his campaign.
“Just in case you haven’t been glued to your phone the last few minutes, I want you to hear something from me,” he said. “A little later than we anticipated, but better late than never, official verified caucus results are coming in from the state of Iowa; they’re not complete, but results are in from a majority of precincts and they show our campaign in first place.”
The crowd erupted with cheers and chanted, “President Pete, President Pete!”
“We don’t know all of the numbers, but we know this much,” he continued. “A campaign that started a year ago with four staff members, no name recognition, no money, just a big idea — a campaign that some said should have no business even making this attempt — has taken its place at the front of this race.”
Mr. Buttigieg then proceeded to rattle off the ways in which his current position in Iowa had solidified his conviction that his message can resonate with a wide collation of voters across the ideological and demographic spectrum.
“And it validates,” he said, momentarily choking up, in what appeared to be a deeply personal reflection, “for a kid somewhere in the community, wondering if he belongs or she belongs or they belong in their own family, that if you believe in yourself and your country, there’s a lot backing up that belief.”
NASHUA, N.H. — Just hours before the Iowa Democratic Party released partial caucus results, the Biden campaign issued a stern warning about the care the state party needed to take with the results.
“We’re hopeful that the Iowa Democratic Party will get it right because the integrity of this process is too important,” said Symone D. Sanders, a senior adviser to Joseph R. Biden Jr. “But we’re not waiting. We’re moving forward. Iowa is 41 of the delegates that are up for grabs. And there’s almost 2,000 delegate nominating contests. But we feel good that we will walk out of Iowa with some delegates, and then we’re going to garner some delegates here in New Hampshire.”
On the question of whether the campaign would seek legal action against the state party, she told some reporters, “I know that there have been some reports out there that we’re threatening, we’re currently threatening litigation. We are not currently threatening any litigation.”
Mr. Biden, for his part, seemed eager to turn the page on Iowa.
“We don’t know precisely how many delegates we have, or how many we’ll get, but I feel really good about getting more than our fair share,” he said. “And now it’s time for New Hampshire to speak, and speak loudly.”
He was slated to attend another campaign event Tuesday night in Concord, N.H. Pressed earlier in the afternoon by reporters over whether he planned to accept the results from the state party, he held up his hands.
“I don’t know what happened in Iowa this morning,” he said.
WASHINGTON — Troy Price, the Iowa Democratic Party chairman, apologized for the Monday night debacle that led to a 20-hour delay in reporting results from the Iowa caucuses and said his party released results from 62 percent of precincts on Tuesday.
Pete Buttigieg: 26.9 percent of the state’s delegate equivalents
Bernie Sanders: 25.1 percent
Elizabeth Warren: 18.3 percent
Joe Biden: 15.6 percent
Amy Klobuchar: 12.6 percent
Andrew Yang: 1.1 percent
Tom Steyer: 0.3 percent.
The state party also released its partial raw vote totals from its second alignment, a count that reflects the support only for candidates who reached the 15 percent viability threshold in each precinct.
Before his party began posting results online, Mr. Price stood before reporters in Des Moines and apologized for the mess.
“The reporting of the results and circumstances surrounding the 2020 Iowa Democratic Party caucuses were unacceptable,” Mr. Price said during a news conference. “As chair of the party I apologize deeply for this.”
Mr. Price gave no indication of when officials would post the rest of the caucus results.
Mr. Price pledged a “thorough, transparent and independent” investigation into what caused the delays and stressed that party officials have a “paper trail” that will allow officials to double-check their results.
“My paramount concern is making sure that these results are accurate and reflect what happened last night in caucuses throughout the state,” he said.
Troy Price, the chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party, addressed the news media Tuesday afternoon one day after the Iowa caucuses.
Mr. Price said, “The reporting of the results and circumstances surrounding the 2020 Iowa Democratic Party caucuses were unacceptable. As chair of the party I apologize deeply for this.”
The Iowa Democratic Party announced in a statement to the news media that Troy Price, the chairman of the state party, would address reporters at 4:45 p.m. Eastern.
Democratic officials in Nevada tried to assuage fears that their Feb. 22 caucuses would be a repeat of the Iowa meltdown. Officials said that they would not use the same app or vendor used in Iowa, despite previous plans to do so.
William McCurdy, the state party chairman said, Nevada Democrats “can confidently say that what happened in the Iowa caucus last night will not happen in Nevada.”
“We had already developed a series of backups and redundant reporting systems, and are currently evaluating the best path forward.”
While the state had planned to use a similar app from Shadow Inc. to calculate its results, a state party official said that after the problems in Iowa became clear, the party scrapped that plan. The state party had gone through a practice run with the app without any problems last weekend.
Now, Nevada Democratic Party officials are scrambling to decide which of their backup plans they will put in place for the caucuses. The state party paid Shadow at least $58,000 to develop an app, and officials believed the company had created a slightly different plan for the state.
“Last night was horrifying to watch,” said one official, who declined to be named because the party is still determining its plans. “It was also troubling what was going on — we’re not in their boiler room, so we don’t know: Is it a human error, is it an app error?”
The Nevada caucuses work somewhat differently than those in Iowa, with early voting open for the first time this year with written preference cards for candidates printed in English, Spanish and Tagalog. More than 80 early voting locations will be open beginning Feb. 15.
Chad Wolf, the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, said that the agency’s cybersecurity arm had offered to test the app used by the Iowa Democratic Party for Monday’s caucus “from a hacking perspective,” but that party officials declined.
“They declined and so we’re seeing a couple of issues with it,” Mr. Wolf said on Tuesday on “Fox & Friends.”
Mr. Wolf added that there was no evidence of hacking during the caucus. “This is more of a stress and a load issue right now as well as a reporting issue,” Mr. Wolf said.
“Given the amount of scrutiny that we have on election security these days, this is a concerning event and it really goes to the public confidence of our elections,” he added.
Shadow Inc., the technology company that built the app commissioned by the Iowa Democratic Party, apologized in a widely mocked Twitter thread Tuesday afternoon.
Multiple Iowa Democratic county chairs said they struggled to use the app, which has created what Derek Eadon, a former Iowa Democratic Party chairman, called “a systemwide disaster.” Along with expressing regret, the for-profit technology company offered an explanation for the issues.
The underlying collection process was “sound and accurate,” the company said, and the problems did not affect “the underlying caucus results data.” Rather, the issues involved the process of transmitting the caucus results data generated through the app to the Iowa Democratic Party, the Twitter statement said.
“We will apply the lessons learned in the future, and have already corrected the underlying technology issue,” the company tweeted.
The company’s involvement was kept a secret by Democratic officials through the caucuses. The Nevada Democratic Party, which holds a caucus on Feb. 22, said it would not be using the flawed app.
FARMINGTON, N.H. — Across New Hampshire on Tuesday, voters expressed a range of reactions to the Iowa meltdown: everything from anger to ambivalence. A few voters said they felt bad for Iowans and Democratic officials there. And several admitted that although they had been tracking developments in Iowa, they went to sleep as soon as it became clear that the results would not come in overnight.
Shelby Rossetti, 46, of Manchester, called the situation that unfolded in Iowa “crazy.”
“This day and age we should be able to get this stuff straightened out pretty easily,” she said at a town hall event for former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind. “They knew it was coming. How do you not practice for something like this?”
Of Mr. Buttigieg, she said that he did the right thing by delivering a victory speech even though the Iowa results were not known.
Susan Morrillqueenan, 65, of Hampton, was similarly incredulous and still processing what had happened.
“This is a national-level campaign, you have all these years to get it straight, and this is the embarrassment you’re causing the party?” she said. It was legitimate for people to wonder, she added, how Democrats could run the country if officials could not execute a caucus in a single state.
Cheryl Gilman, who identified herself as a “former Republican who needed a change,” said that she had been won over by Mr. Buttigieg. Though she was just catching up on what had happened in Iowa, she offered an uncomplicated view of his decision to declare victory.
“It’s exciting,” she said. “You don’t want to get on a losing campaign!”
Already, American voters and election officials are looking ahead at the handful of other states and American territories that will be picking — or trying to pick — the Democratic nominee with caucuses.
The number of states that hold caucuses has been dwindling for years, in part at the encouragement of the Democratic National Committee to use a government-run primary.
Kansas, Maine and Hawaii are among the latest states to opt for a primary system, and some of the states that have kept their caucuses have made major changes to try to make them more inclusive.
The next caucus will be on Feb. 22, when Nevada Democrats cap off four days of early voting that will start on Feb. 15. Responding to criticism about limited access, the party has added caucus sites to the back of casinos so casino employees working that day can participate.
Democrats in the state are also providing caucus materials in Tagalog, in addition to English and Spanish, and are allowing people to vote early instead of having to participate in person.
And the party said Tuesday it would not employ the same app or vendor that Iowa Democrats tried to use on Monday night. “Nevada Democrats,” William McCurdy, the state party chairman, said, “can confidently say that what happened in the Iowa caucus last night will not happen in Nevada.”
Wyoming will hold a Democratic caucus on April 4, and voters there will be able for the first time to rank their choices. Nina Sanchez Hebert, a spokeswoman for the Wyoming Democratic Party, said officials would not be relying on the app created by Shadow Inc. to tally results.
“We are not using the same, or any, app to tabulate or transmit results,” she said.
North Dakota will hold a traditional “firehouse” style of caucus on March 10, with voting taking place in an open area rather than in a closed polling booth. And the territories of American Samoa, Guam and the Virgin Islands will hold caucuses on March 24, May 2 and June 6.
HAMPTON, N.H. — At an afternoon stop at a pizzeria here a group of climate activists holding signs reading “make fossil fuel execs pay” sprang up in the crowd and interrupted Pete Buttigieg as he was discussing the need to address the issue.
The protesters loudly challenged some of the sources of Mr. Buttigieg’s fund-raising and demanded to know why they should trust him on environmental issues. As the candidate tried to de-escalate the situation, one protester stood on a chair with a sign, leaned forward and screamed at Mr. Buttigieg, denouncing his policy to tackle climate change as insufficient.
As the protester demanded to know whether Mr. Buttigieg would hold fossil fuel companies accountable for their role in the climate crisis, a chorus of supporters angrily urged her to sit down and began chanting, “Pete! Pete! Pete!”
Eventually, Mr. Buttigieg asked the woman to leave and she was removed from the event. Minutes later, Mr. Buttigieg began taking a random selection of pre-written questions, the first of which asked how he would hold fossil fuel companies accountable.
“They’re going to miss the whole thing now,” he said to laughter from supporters.
DETROIT — Michael R. Bloomberg thanked his audience, packed into a warehouse, for showing up during “one of the busiest weeks of the year.”
“Sunday was the Super Bowl … and yesterday I hear something happened in Iowa. Or didn’t happen,” he joked.
As most other Democratic candidates were en route to New Hampshire, struggling to make sense of the mayhem from the night before, Mr. Bloomberg said he was grateful to be instead in Michigan, a state Mr. Trump won in 2016.
“I was on a plane coming up here and I was sleeping and I woke up and said, ‘What happened?’” he went on. “And the guy said, ‘Nothing.’”
The voters at the Tuesday afternoon Bloomberg rally said they had been drawn to the sense of “stability” and “practicality” that Mr. Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor, seemed to evince.
“How about a commitment?” Mr. Bloomberg told a modest crowd in Detroit. “No tweeting from the Oval Office ever again.”
The comment was of course a jab at President Trump’s social media use, but it also reflected the catchall promise that has motivated Mr. Bloomberg’s campaign — to cut through the chaos lording over American politics. Based on the crowd’s cheers, the message had resonated, particularly on the heels of the botched Iowa caucuses.
Those qualities made for a “breath of fresh air,” as one supporter put it, after the confusion of the Iowa caucuses. But for some voters, they were also the core of Mr. Bloomberg’s appeal: electability, a quality whose importance some said had gotten lost in the Democratic primary.
“It’s O.K. to want wholesale change,” said Duncan DeBruin, 39, a high school history teacher from Canton, Mich. “But I feel like some people feel like if you’re not willing to come out and say that we’re going to burn down the system, then you’re not progressive enough.”
Mr. DeBruin, along with most others at Mr. Bloomberg’s rally, said “beating Trump” was his top priority in choosing a candidate.
Tripp Adams, a 43-year-old Army reservist from Detroit, said he was worried that the current field of Democrats was leaning too far to the left.
“I just think they’re out of touch with the Midwest — the soccer moms and dads just want pragmatic, thoughtful progressives,” he said. “I think Mike covers that.”
DES MOINES — Every four years the Iowa caucuses are supposed to deliver the first clear signal of which candidates are actually resonating with voters. That didn’t happen on Monday.
Photographers for The New York Times were scattered across caucus sites and campaign parties in Iowa as it became clear that a winner would not be declared — at least not Monday night.
We’ll take you through how a normal evening descended into confusion for caucusgoers and campaigns alike.
In a joint statement released Tuesday morning, Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst of Iowa and the state’s governor, Kim Reynolds, defended the Iowa caucuses, saying they were confident the results would ultimately be tallied.
“Iowa’s unique role encourages a grass-roots nominating process that empowers everyday Americans, not Washington insiders or powerful billionaires,” they said. “The face-to-face retail politics nature of Iowa’s caucus system also encourages dialogue between candidates and voters that makes our presidential candidates accountable for the positions they take and the records they hold.”
They also defended the state’s position at the start of the nominating calendar.
“Iowa’s large population of independent voters and its practice of careful deliberation contributes greatly to the national presidential primary and makes it the ideal state to kick off the nominating process,” they said. “Iowans and all Americans should know we have complete confidence that every last vote will be counted and every last voice will be heard.”
Amid a chaotic caucus night and speculation that a phone app was to blame for the delay in distributing results, Andrew Yang, the Democratic presidential candidate and former tech entrepreneur, offered an unsolicited thought.
“It might be helpful to have a President and government that understand technology so this sort of thing doesn’t happen,” Mr. Yang tweeted as the scale of the mishaps was coming into focus.
Mr. Yang did not appear to have been viable in many — if any — of Iowa’s precincts Monday night, but the results-related debacle may have handed him a political gift as he hits the trail in New Hampshire — a state where he has the best chance to overperform and must surprise.
Mr. Yang, for months, has pitched himself as the candidate most in tune with technology and the internet at large. He has garnered a significant share of his endorsements from Silicon Valley and built his base and raised much of his money from a loyal following online.
And now Mr. Yang, 45, appears well positioned to highlight his relative youth and tech savvy as the Iowa Democratic Party deals with the fallout of significant technical difficulties.
“I’m going to say I do not have confidence that any of my opponents get the internet,” he recently told The New York Times Editorial Board.
On Tuesday, as he prepared for a day of events in New Hampshire, he tweeted that he saw in the Iowa mess an opening for himself.
“My takeaway from Monday night: this race is a muddled mess. That means the opportunity for us is growing because there isn’t a clear front-runner or even field. New Hampshire will be more important than ever.”
The app that the Iowa Democratic Party commissioned to tabulate and report results from the caucuses was not properly tested at a statewide scale, said people who were briefed by the state party.
The party decided to use the app only after another proposal for reporting votes — which entailed having caucus participants call in their votes over the phone — was abandoned, on the advice of Democratic National Committee officials, said David Jefferson, a board member of Verified Voting, a nonpartisan election integrity organization.
The app was built by Shadow Inc., a for-profit technology company that is also used by the Nevada Democratic Party, the next state to hold a caucus, as well as by multiple presidential campaigns.
The secrecy around the app this year came from the Iowa Democratic Party, which asked that even its name be withheld from the public. According to a person familiar with the app, its creators had repeatedly questioned the need to keep it secret, especially from the Iowa precincts where it would be used.
That person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he had agreed not to discuss details of the app, said that there were concerns that the app would malfunction in areas with poor connectivity, or because of high bandwidth use, such as when many people tried to use it at the same time.
KEENE, N.H. — Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts called on the Iowa Democratic Party to “get it together,” saying the reporting errors that upended caucus results threatened to damage trust in the democratic process.
Speaking to reporters after an event in Keene, her first in New Hampshire after landing at 4 a.m., Ms. Warren said reports that the Iowa Democratic Party planned to release half of the caucus results later this afternoon made little sense.
“I just don’t understand what that means to release half of the data,” she said. “So, I think they ought to get it together and release all of the data.”
Ms. Warren told the audience that the results showed a close race atop the Iowa field between her, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind. Her campaign has sought to frame the caucus results — however unclear — as a bad night for former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.
Asked if voters will be able to trust the results, Ms. Warren replied, “I hope they’ll be able to.” At the same time, her campaign sent an email to supporters framing the results as a good night for them amid a tumultuous time for democracy.
“I know there are reasons to feel frustrated and discouraged,” it read. “Yesterday we had a bumpy democratic process. Tonight a lawless president will deliver his State of the Union. Tomorrow Republicans in the Senate will likely declare that their loyalty is to Donald Trump rather than our Constitution and the rule of law.”
COMPTON, Calif. — Michael R. Bloomberg’s presidential campaign moved on Tuesday to exploit the chaotic outcome of the Iowa caucuses, authorizing his campaign team to double his spending on television commercials in every market where he is currently advertising and expand his campaign’s field staff to more than 2,000 people, strategists involved in the conversations said.
The Bloomberg campaign has been trying to chart an unprecedented route to the Democratic nomination, skipping the first four contests in February but aggressively contesting the array of larger states that begin voting in March. From the outset, Mr. Bloomberg’s advisers believed the strategy would have a chance of working only if another moderate candidate — most likely former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. — failed to emerge from February with a decisive upper hand in the race.
In an interview on Monday in Compton, Calif., Mr. Bloomberg was unusually blunt about his campaign spending strategy and his intent to seek advantages while his rivals toiled in the four early states, which have relatively few delegates needed to win the nomination.
“It’s much more efficient to go to the big states, to go to the swing states,” Mr. Bloomberg said. “The others chose to compete in the first four. And nobody makes them do it, they wanted to do it. I think part of it is because the conventional wisdom is ‘Oh you can’t possibly win without them.’”
Later, he added, “Those are old rules.”
Mr. Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor whose campaign is fueled by a multibillion-dollar personal fortune, conferred with advisers on Tuesday morning about the muddled results in Iowa. Encouraged by the murky outcome, Mr. Bloomberg authorized his campaign team to undertake the expansion in advertising and staff.
His campaign also released a new advertisement scheduled to be aired nationally Tuesday night, when President Trump is set to deliver his State of the Union address. The spot focuses on criticism of Mr. Trump, warning of a nation “divided by an angry, out-of-control president” and a White House “beset by lies, chaos and corruption.”
The advertisement tries to portray Mr. Bloomberg as the candidate who is best equipped to beat Mr. Trump in November.
Read more on Bloomberg’s strategy
The electoral debacle in Iowa raised bipartisan concerns on Capitol Hill on Tuesday about the caucus system, prompting a top Democrat — Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois — to suggest that the process should be abandoned.
Mr. Durbin, the No. 2 Senate Democrat, said that the caucus system “limits and restricts opportunities for people to vote,” effectively disenfranchising poor and working people who do not have time to attend. The chaos in Iowa only reinforced those concerns, he said.
“As I watched that on television last night, I thought to myself, ‘How many folks at the end of a workday, picking kids up from day care, are likely to show up at the caucus?’ Not many,” Mr. Durbin said, adding “I just think the caucus approach, as curious and quaint and interesting as it is, just runs counter to our basic feelings about voting in this country.”
Another Democrat, Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia, the party’s 2016 vice-presidential candidate, did not suggest scrapping the system, but said that changes should be made. “You want to see exactly everything what went wrong before you decide what the changes are, so I’ll save what the changes should be for later,” Mr. Kaine told reporters. He said he preferred Virginia’s system of open primaries, though “I’ve never felt it was my duty to tell a state party how to do their process.”
Senator Richard Burr, Republican of North Carolina and the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Mark Warner of Virginia, the committee’s top Democrat, both sought to tamp down fears that the caucus system had been hacked.
“We’re confident there was no outside interference in their system,” Mr. Burr told reporters, “and I’m sure the party in Iowa will figure out where their glitches were.”
But Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, who sought his party’s nomination for 2016, warned that more problems would occur: “Think #IowaCaucus meltdown is bad?” he wrote on Twitter. “Imagine very close Presidential election Russian or Chinese hackers tamper with preliminary reporting system in key counties When the official results begin to be tabulated it shows a different winner than the preliminary results online.”
The Iowa Democratic Party will begin to release results from Monday’s caucuses at 5 p.m. Eastern time on Tuesday, its chairman, Troy Price, told the Democratic campaigns in a conference call.
Mr. Price told the campaigns that “the majority” of results the party had in hand would be made public later Tuesday, but he dodged questions from the campaigns about how much would be released and when final totals would become available.
“I don’t want to put a number on it but I can tell you it’s going to be more than 50 percent,” he said.
Officials on the call said that the party was trying to verify results using paper records collected from each precinct and that it had dispatched staff members to collect them around the state.
The call quickly turned combative, as campaign representatives pressed the party officials about when results would be released and why it was taking so long.
“What do you have to back up these results?” one campaign representative asked.
“We have always said we have a paper trail in the process,” Mr. Price replied. “This is what we would have done on caucus night,” he added, of releasing verified results, as they have them.
Jeff Weaver, a senior aide to Senator Bernie Sanders, praised the officials on the call and noted, “You do have a paper trail.” He warned rival campaigns against “discrediting the party,” a veiled reference to the Biden campaign, which had objected earlier in the call to the process.
“I do want to urge people in the interest of not discrediting the party, that folks who are just trying to delay the return of this because of their relative positioning in the results, last night, I think that’s a bit disingenuous,” Mr. Weaver said. “Those results should be rolled out as we get them.” But how long the process could take was not answered.
“Today, tomorrow, the next day, a week, a month?” another campaign operative, who did not identify himself, pressed the party. “We’re continuing to work through our process and just as soon as we can,” Mr. Price replied.
At first, Democrats in Iowa said the caucuses started out smoothly, with strong turnout across the state’s more than 1,600 precincts. But the Iowa Democratic Party’s plan to use a new app to report its results thrust the nation’s first contest into disarray and confusion on Monday night.
Precinct chairs struggled to log in to the app or to download it when it came time to report their results. Some precinct leaders said they had filed their results on Monday with little struggle, others said they waited hours to call in. At times, the party phone lines were completely jammed.
Conflicting candidate speeches declared various degrees of victory, adding to the uncertainty. But late at night, the party said that there were inconsistencies in the sets of results.
“This is simply a reporting issue, the app did not go down and this is not a hack or an intrusion,” the state party said in a statement. “The underlying data and paper trail is sound and will simply take time to further report the results.”
The chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party, Troy Price, said he planned to release the results later on Tuesday.
“We are validating every piece of data we have against our paper trail. That system is taking longer than expected,” he said, “but it’s in place to ensure we are eventually able to report results with full confidence.”
By then, most of the candidates were already on the way to New Hampshire.