Election 2020

CNN: 'Something's Going On' with Delayed Iowa Caucus Results, 'Possibly a Real Debacle'

Supporters for Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., raise their hands to be counted during a Democratic party caucus at Hoover High School, Monday, Feb. 3, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Things are not going as planned at the Iowa caucuses tonight. By now we should have had the results for the first round, and probably the second—possibly even the final results. But that’s not what’s happening. CNN’s Wolf Blitzer summed it up succinctly just now: “Something’s going on.”

The plan was for results to be released by the state Democratic Party on a rolling basis. As I wrote earlier today:

In past years, the results of the caucuses have been released by the Iowa Democratic Party at the end of the night. This year, in an effort to increase transparency, the results will be released on a rolling basis in three  “alignments” as Iowa caucusgoers work through weeding out the Dem candidates who don’t have what it takes to make it to November 2020—at least in the view of Iowa Democrats. So rather than waiting until all voting has been completed this year, the Iowa Democratic Party will be releasing the raw vote totals for the first time ever.

No one knows what’s going on at this point, but there are some reports that the app is not working correctly.

But leaders of the state party told Democrat caucus-goers that precinct leaders would be able to call in results if for some reason the app failed. There are some reports that even that isn’t working:

Former Obama staffer Van Jones just said, “This is starting to feel like, possibly, a real debacle, where if there’s some technical problems that they’re not disclosing, we could be very late on this.” He went on to call for an end to caucuses.

The Iowa Democratic Party has been citing “quality control” all night as the reason for the delay.

As the Great VodkaPundit just wrote on the PJM drunkblog, Dems are “unfit to run a caucus in a high school gym, but they want to run the country.”

A spokesperson for the Iowa Democratic Party just said in a statement: “The integrity of the results is paramount. We have experienced a delay in the results due to quality checks and the fact that the Iowa IDP [Iowa Democratic Party] is reporting out three data sets for the first time. What we know right now is that around 25% of precincts have reported. Early data shows that turnout is on pace for 2016.”

Don’t quote me on this, but I think that’s shorthand for “we screwed up BIG TIME.”

Update 11:09 p.m. EST: We’ve now learned that IDP officials have summoned the campaigns to an emergency meeting to explain the delayed results. This indicates that they’re possibly dealing with a systemic, statewide problem rather than just a few precincts experiencing issues.

Update 11:16 p.m. EST: Uh oh:

Did someone “forget” to invite Bernie? Look for a huge backlash from the Bernie Bros over this disaster. Recall that they lobbied hard for transparency in the Iowa caucuses and the process in play tonight is largely the result of pressure from his campaign. Recall also that Sanders’ supporters believe Hillary Clinton and the DNC are responsible for him losing the nomination in 2016 by rigging the system against him. This could get very ugly.

Update 11:30 p.m. EST: The IDP is saying this is nothing more than a reporting issue, trying to assure voters essentially that there’s nothing to see here.

That doesn’t sound like nothing to me. Stay tuned.

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