Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is leading Senator Bernie Sanders by a mere .4% of the vote in the Iowa Caucus.
"In a handful of Democratic caucus precincts Monday, a delegate was awarded with a coin toss."
According to the Des Moines Register, "It happened in precinct 2-4 in Ames, where supporters of candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton disputed the results after 60 caucus participants apparently disappeared from the proceedings. As a result of the coin toss, Clinton was awarded an additional delegate, meaning she took five of the precinct’s eight, while Sanders received three."
David Schweingruber, an associate professor of sociology at Iowa State University and Sanders supporter (of course), described what happened:
A total of 484 eligible caucus attendees were initially recorded at the site. But when each candidate’s preference group was counted, Clinton had 240 supporters, Sanders had 179 and Martin O’Malley had five (causing him to be declared non-viable).
Those figures add up to just 424 participants, leaving 60 apparently missing. When those numbers were plugged into the formula that determines delegate allocations, Clinton received four delegates and Sanders received three — leaving one delegate unassigned.
Unable to account for that numerical discrepancy and the orphan delegate it produced, the Sanders campaign challenged the results and precinct leaders called a Democratic Party hot line set up to advise on such situations.
Party officials recommended they settle the dispute with a coin toss.
A Clinton supporter correctly called “heads” on a quarter flipped in the air, and Clinton received a fifth delegate.
The same situation happened in other precincts. Two precincts in Des Moines, one in Newton, one in West Branch, and one in Davenport all had to toss a coin to award delegates. Hillary won all the coin tosses.