The real discussion, post-Iowa, is whether Tom Perez's Democratic Party can galvanize the necessary vision, enthusiasm and opposition to beat Donald Trump in November - or not.
Camp likened Buttigieg's premature declaration of victory to that of self-declared Venezuelan interim president Juan Guaido, complete with incredulous reaction by American voters: "Did you just declare victory in a race with no results, even though you were losing?". According to New York Times analyst Nate Cohn, the results from these precincts are representative of the state. Elizabeth Warren, former Vice President Joe Biden and Minnesota Sen.
The Iowa caucus is a case study of this reality. With numerous votes outstanding from Sanders-favorable districts like Polk County, he may still lose the delegate lead, too. He leads on the "initial" popular votes by 24.5% to 21.4% for Buttigieg.
An Iowa caucusgoer demanded back her voting card after discovering that she had just endorsed a man in a same-sex partnership.
"So far, it's clear that in the first and second round, more people voted for Bernie than any other candidate in the field", Sanders senior adviser Jeff Weaver said. Caucus turnout is traditionally very low.
This false start to the Democratic nominating contest has shaken the confidence in the process and could have a lasting effect on the race, political analysts said.
"The media is ready to go and everyone's ready to declare a victor and the candidates have their speeches and there's this sense of anticipation", says Rick Hasen, an election law expert who's just written a book - Election Meltdown: Dirty Tricks, Distrust, and the Threat to American Democracy - about all the things that could go wrong in 2020.
Biden then used some of his most muscular language to date to criticize Buttigieg, who's narrowly leading Sanders in Iowa as the results trickle in.
The question is whether Iowa will have a large impact on these figures.
Pete Buttigieg was baptized in a Catholic Church and raised as a Catholic, but in adult life became a member of the Anglican Communion. Political experts have said that the fact that he is gay may work against him with conservative US voters.
The New Hampshire primary will be held on Tuesday, Feb 11 with 33 delegates.
"At this rate, New Hampshire might get the first vote after all", he joked at a rally in Concord.
The smartphone app was designed by Shadow, Inc., a Colorado-based tech company founded by Gerard Niemira and Krista Davis, to make collecting and reporting the results easier and quicker. However, she will need a better showing in New Hampshire to remain viable. He has 25.6% in the RealClearPolitics average, followed by Biden at 17.9%, Warren 14.2% and Buttigieg 13.1%. But the media spotlight on the tallying debacle and the muddled finish at the top - rather than Biden's finish itself - may be welcome news for the former vice president. The approach was also an expensive one, requiring deep campaign reserves to finance advertising and staffing in Nevada, South Carolina and delegate-rich states like California and Texas.