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Pete Buttigieg makes history by winning the Iowa caucus with the slimmest of margins

Patrick Kelleher February 7, 2020
Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Gay presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg has made history by winning the Iowa caucus with a narrow victory over Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

Buttigieg came out with 26.2 percent of the vote count, beating Democratic rivals including Elizabeth Sanders and Joe Biden.

Sanders placed just behind Buttigieg with 26.1 percent of the votes, with Buttigieg winning over just two more delegates.

Pete Buttigieg named winner of the Iowa caucus after technical difficulties delayed results.

Buttigieg’s victory came a difficult voting process in which precinct captains struggled with a new app that would send caucus-goer votes to the state party. Those difficulties resulted in significant delays to the result of the Iowa caucus.

His victory will come as a surprise to many after the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana came out of nowhere to top the poll. He is facing off against significantly more experienced and well-known figures within the Democratic party, but despite this, he is proving popular among voters.

The 38-year-old’s Iowa victory has divided the LGBT+ community. Many have argued that his win is a historic moment for queer representation, while others have criticised his policies.

Buttigieg has faced significant criticism over his track record on race, among other issues. Last month, during a rally in Des Moines, Iowa, Black Lives Matter activists heckled him over his track-record as South Bend mayor.

In video footage, one person could be heard quizzing the Democrat on his controversial housing record, accusing him of “demolishing hundreds” of homes in the local black community.

A woman went viral when video footage showed her withdrawing her vote for Buttigieg when she found out he was gay.

One of Buttigieg’s most striking moments at the Iowa caucus came when a woman found out that he was gay and decided not to vote for him.

In the footage, the caucus-goer asked a poll worker: “Are you saying that he has the same-sex partner? Pete?”

Buttigieg’s precinct captain, Nikki van den Heever, was in disbelief as she spoke to the pollster. “Yes, yes he does,” she responded.

“Are you kidding?!” the woman said.

“Yes, he’s married to him, yes,” Heever replied.

“Well,” the woman said, “then I don’t want anybody like that in the White House. So can I have my [ballot] back?”

 

More: iowa caucus, Pete Buttigieg

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