No, I'm not using a metaphor of a coin flip to express how close the race between Clinton and Sanders was last night, I'm saying that Iowa delegates were literally awarded by coin flip.
Here’s what happened in Ames, according to David Schweingruber, an associate professor of sociology at Iowa State University (and Sanders supporter) who participated in the caucus: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.
Great. The fate of the republic is being decided by coin tosses.