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Senator Bernie Sanders in Tama, Iowa.

TAMA, Iowa — On Thursday night, three nights after Iowa Democrats met to voice their votes for president, the final tallies were in for the Iowa caucus. Even with the totals in, the Associated Press said it “is unable to declare a winner” in Iowa.

The final votes show former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders virtually tied over all the other Democratic presidential candidates who spent months in Iowa, home of the first 2020 presidential contest.

Earlier Thursday, Sanders declared himself the winner of Iowa during a press conference in New Hampshire, home of next Tuesday’s presidential primary.

With Iowa being first to cast their votes in the 2020 presidential race, all eyes were on the state. The lack of results was an embarrassment to the Iowa Democratic Party, which would not release results on Monday night because of “inconsistencies” in reporting.

The Meskwaki Nation (Sac & Fox Tribe of the Mississippi) is the only federally recognized tribe in Iowa. Even though the total number of those who participated may be small, the Meskwaki Nation provided the first glimpse into who Native Americans may support in the Democratic field.

Tama County is home to the Meskwaki Nation. The results are:

Bernie Sanders   29.4 percent

Pete Buttigieg      27.1 percent

Joseph Biden      21.2 percent

Elizabeth Warren 10.5 percent

Narrowing it down further, one precinct of 15 precincts in Tama County is home to the Meskwaki Indian Community. On Monday night, 71 people in that precinct showed up to voice their opinion on who should be the next president. In the end, Sanders earned five delegates by winning 43 votes of those who participated. Warren and Andrew Yang each garnered two delegates.

As has been discussed on national television this week, how delegates are chosen in Iowa for the national Democratic Convention is a complicated system. The delegates selected during Monday night’s caucus will go on to a county convention in March and then on to a state convention to be selected.

Sanders was the only candidate to visit the Meskwaki Nation. He held a rally there on January 2.

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Levi Rickert
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Levi Rickert (Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation) is the founder, publisher and editor of Native News Online. Rickert was awarded Best Column 2021 Native Media Award for the print/online category by the Native American Journalists Association. He serves on the advisory board of the Multicultural Media Correspondents Association. He can be reached at [email protected]