In a handful of Democratic caucus precincts Monday, a delegate was awarded with a coin toss. 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. Similar situations played out at various precincts across the state, but had an extremely small effect on the overall outcome, in which Clinton won 49.9 percent of statewide delegate equivalents, while Sanders won 49.5 percent. The delegates that were decided by coin flips were delegates to the party’s county conventions, of which there are thousands selected across the state from 1,681 separate precincts. They were not the statewide delegate equivalents that are reported in the final results.
The statewide delegate equivalents that determine the outcome on caucus night are derived from the county-level delegates, but are aggregated across the state and weighted in a manner that makes individual county delegate selections at a handful of precincts count for a tiny fraction of the ultimate result.
… Similar situations were reported elsewhere, including at a precinct in Des Moines, atanother precinct in Des Moines, in Newton, in West Branch and in Davenport. In all five situations, Clinton won the toss.