KEENE, N.H. — After 90 minutes of sleep, an energetic Senator Elizabeth Warren took the stage at an ornate theater here on Tuesday and made an implicit suggestion about the chaos after Democrats in Iowa failed to report any results from Monday night’s caucuses: It is unclear who won, but it wasn’t Joe Biden.
“Here’s what we know: It’s a tight, three-way race at the top,” Warren said, referring to internal data from the campaigns showing her, Senator Bernie Sanders, and Pete Buttigieg bunched together. “We know that the three of us will be divvying up most of the delegates coming out of Iowa.”
“I’m feeling good,” she added.
Reeling from a cascade of problems and uncertainty in Iowa, Warren and her Democratic rivals descended on New Hampshire on Tuesday and sought immediately to spin what had happened — or rather, what might have happened — in their favor. At the same time, the Iowa Democratic Party told the campaigns it plans to release at least 50 percent of the caucus results on Tuesday at 5 p.m. Eastern.
Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., had already essentially declared himself the winner Monday night. Sanders released an internal survey of less than half of the state’s precincts that showed him coming out on top. Warren’s campaign aides castigated their rivals for releasing incomplete information, but framed the night as a close race that was good for them.
And the subtext of all three campaigns’ responses was clear: Biden, the former vice president who enjoyed frontrunner status for much of last year, had a bad night.
Warren’s campaign manager Roger Lau, who on Monday night said Biden appeared to have come in a “distant fourth,” on Tuesday said the Warren campaign was trying to help the state party figure out what happened.
“Our campaign collected photos and other raw documentation of the results at hundreds of caucus locations as part of our internal reporting process,” Lau wrote on Twitter. “Today we will provide what we have to the Iowa Democratic Party to help ensure the integrity of their process.”
Onstage in Iowa, Warren channeled the frustration that erupted in Iowa and among Democratic operatives around the country.
“I know that this is a time when a lot of people around our country are starting to feel really worried and really discouraged,” she said, “ I mean, we had a bumpy start to the Democratic process yesterday in Iowa.”
If doubts about the Iowa caucuses linger after the state party reports the results, it could dampen the impact of the results there — which could be a boon to Warren if it turns out she did not finish first.
Taking questions from reporters, Warren expressed discomfort with a plan by Iowa Democratic party officials to release partial results data later today.
“I just don’t understand what that means, to release half of the data. So I think they ought to get it together and release all of the data,” she said.
When asked if people should trust the results, Warren did not say yes.
"Well, I hope that they’ll be able to,” she said. “That’s why I said, our campaign is doing everything that we can to help in ways that you can actually verify — not just laying out some opinions, but ways that can be verified — and we’ve called on other campaigns to try to do the same, so that everybody gets as accurate a count” as possible.
Warren took the stage after landing in Manchester around 4 a.m. Tuesday morning, and made a forceful case for her own electability, name-dropping Scott Brown, who she defeated in 2012, and expounding the electoral potency of women.
And then, as rival campaigns scrap over results that nobody outside of a select few has seen, she evoked the divisions of the 2016 primary, when the bitter primary battle between Sanders and Hillary Clinton was seen by many Democrats as a weakness as the party faced Trump.
“The way I’m going to win is, I’m going to unite our party,” Warren said. “Because we have to have a united party. We can’t have a repeat of 2016.”