Adrift After Iowa

JUST AFTER MIDNIGHT ON A GRAND STAGE IN IOWA, Pete Buttigieg went for it. “By all indications,” the Democratic presidential candidate and former mayor of South Bend, Ind., declared, “we are going on to New Hampshire victorious!” Supporters chanted, “I-O-W-A, Mayor Pete all the way!” as Buttigieg gave a soaring speech about unity and change, boasting of a new American majority that could beat President Donald Trump.

The spectacle was a bit surreal, and not only because the campaign could barely fill an Iowa coffee shop a year ago. Buttigieg had not officially won anything yet. While his staffers had compiled internal numbers suggesting a win, official results from the Iowa Democratic Party had yet to arrive because of glitches with a smartphone app and other issues that delayed final election results from Iowa’s more than 1,700 caucus precincts well into the week.

But as the count came in over the ensuing, Buttigieg appeared to be right. With more than three-quarters of the caucus vote tallied as of Feb. 5, he was projected to edge Senator Bernie Sanders

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