Some Iowa Precincts Were So Close They Flipped a Coin

The luck of the coin was used to determine some county delegate outcomes.

February 2, 2016, 11:28 AM

— -- The race for county delegates in some precincts in the Iowa caucuses was so close Monday night that they ended up being decided by a coin toss.

In at least three precincts, Hillary Clinton won an additional county delegate after the lucky flip of a coin.

Under Iowa’s election system, the delegates decided by those few flips were among thousands of delegates across the state who are divided into their county caucuses.

The votes from those county delegates determine something called statewide delegate equivalents, which are the numbers that matter because they are reported as the final results for the state.

Clinton won 49.8 percent of the statewide delegate equivalents and Sanders won 49.6 percent, the Iowa Democratic Party reported.

That such an old-fashioned solution was used should not have come as a surprise. The Democratic National Committee had confirmed earlier Monday that a coin toss was a legitimate option for settling a tie between two preference groups.

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