Chaos at the Caucus

Henrietta Brewer
February 5, 2020

Sanders senior adviser Jeff Weaver said the numbers it was reporting early Tuesday morning represented almost 40% of precincts in Iowa.

The candidates are vying to win the opening contest of the 2020 White House campaign and become the Democratic nominee who will face President Donald Trump, a Republican, in the 3 November election.

The party developed a smartphone app to expand the online reporting of results from precincts to party headquarters.

"It is not the fault of Iowa, it is the Do Nothing Democrats fault", he wrote.

Shawn Sebastian, a precinct secretary in Story County, told CNN's Wolf Blitzer, "I have been on hold for over an hour with the Iowa Democratic Party".

Officials from two Democratic campaigns tell CNN they were told the app to tabulate results had crashed.

"We found inconsistencies in the reporting of three sets of results", said Mandy McClure, Iowa Democratic Party communications director.

Des Moines County Democratic Chair Tom Courtney said he heard that in precincts across his county, including his own, the mobile app was "a mess". "Tonight I say with a heart full of gratitude: Iowa, you have proved those skeptics wrong".

It's just the first in a primary season that will span all 50 states and several US territories, ending at the party's national convention in mid-July. It was not clear when the final results would be available.

"The Democrat Caucus is an unmitigated disaster", Trump tweeted early Tuesday.

"It would be natural for people to doubt the fairness of the process", he added.

The president noted he was the only candidate who could accurately declare victory after Republicans reported the results of their caucus just a couple of hours after they finished.

The apps were barely working Monday night, according to a person involved in processing the data who requested anonymity to discuss the party's internal system. "We don't know exactly what it is yet, but we feel good about where we are", Biden said. And new voters reportedly played a significant role in shaping Iowa's election. "The underlying data and paper trail is sound and will simply take time to further report the results", the statement reads.

There are now three sets of results reported, allowing greater visibility into who participants supported in the first and second rounds, as supporters of candidates who don't meet a 15% threshold are given a chance to join with backers of other candidates.

The president also shared a gif of a dumpster fire mocking Iowa Democrats for the botched process. VoteCast found that measure outranked others as the most important quality for a nominee.

But former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro gave renewed, prominent voice to the sentiment even as he was running for president in Iowa previous year, saying the contest "does not reflect demographically either the United States or, certainly not, the Democratic Party".

In the absence of official results, campaign managers were reading the tea leaves from information sent in by field staff to try to assess how they were performing.

The Iowa contest is the first in a long cycle of caucuses and primaries that stretches until June - awarding just 1% of the delegates needed to clinch the Democratic presidential nomination.

Biden appeared happy to skip on to New Hampshire and later contests in which his campaign believes he will be more competitive than in Iowa.

There is no guarantee that all three will show the same victor when they're ultimately released. The "state delegate equivalents" are the estimated number of delegates candidates have won to the state convention based on their results in each precinct.

Other reports by iNewsToday