Bernie Sanders’ voters will not be amused to learn that the Democratic National Committee awarded six deadlocked precincts, out of 99 precincts total, to Hillary Clinton with a literal coin toss.
She won all six of the coin tosses. The odds against winning six out of six coin flips are 64-to-1 against, or 1.56 percent.
The Des Moines Register explains that one of the coin tosses came from precinct 2-4 in Ames, where “60 caucus participants apparently disappeared from the proceedings.”
The Register quotes caucus participant and Iowa State University professor David Schewingruber, a Sanders supporter, on how it went down:
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 thing happened at precincts in Des Moines, Newton, West Branch, and Davenport.
The coin tosses gave Clinton a technical delegate victory in Iowa, although it’s hard to call it a win.
With the clock frozen at 99 percent of precincts reporting, Clinton edges Sanders in the vote total by a whisper-thin margin, 49.9 percent to 49.6 percent, but if the coin tosses had gone the other way, Sanders would apparently have the most delegates.
CBS News reports that one precinct still hasn’t reported, with 2.28 state delegate equivalents, leading to this hilariously aggressive spin from the Clinton campaign:
Clinton’s camp noted that, even if Sanders got all of the 2.28, “Statistically, there is no outstanding information that could change the results and no way that Senator Sanders can overcome Secretary Clinton’s advantage.”
And so, it said flatly, she “has won the Iowa Caucus.”
Everyone who isn’t getting paid by Hillary Clinton knows the truth: Iowa was a devastating blow to her, and Sanders is correct to trumpet “a come-from-behind campaign for the history books.”
The one thing he couldn’t possible have foreseen is that Clinton would defy 64-to-1 odds and win six coin tosses in a row.
Of course, Clinton fans know this isn’t the first time she’s beaten long odds. In the Miracle of the Cattle Futures, for example, Clinton turned a $1,000 investment into $100,000 in no time flat, despite having no experience in the highly volatile commodities market.
She also somehow forgot to report that windfall to the IRS, and the Clinton White House dragged its feet on releasing the details of the trade, which is so unlike the famously transparent power couple.