At least three Democratic Iowa caucuses were determined by a coin flip

Dylan Stableford
Senior Editor

How close were the Democratic Iowa caucuses? In at least three precincts, coin flips were apparently needed to decide which candidate — Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders — got the available delegates.


According to West Davenport, Iowa, resident Andrew Tadlock, two rounds of counting left Clinton and Sanders with 81 votes each, leading to the caucus coin flip. Clinton won there.

In Polk County, Clinton and Sanders were tied at 61. (Clinton won that coin flip, too.)

Under Iowa’s Democratic caucusing rules, ties can be determined by a coin flip.

According to the Des Moines Register, a similar scene played out in Ames, Iowa, where supporters of Clinton and Sanders “disputed the results after 60 caucus participants apparently disappeared from the proceedings.”

Clinton won the coin toss there and was awarded a tiebreaking delegate — meaning “she took five of the precinct’s eight, while Sanders received three,” the paper reported, adding that “similar situations were reported elsewhere,” including three precincts not mentioned above. Clinton won the coin toss each time.