I’m excited to announce that PJ Media is partnering with Decision Desk HQ this year to bring you live election results and much, much more during what is sure to be a busy and unpredictable election year. Our coverage begins tonight, with real-time results from the Iowa caucuses beginning at around 8:30 p.m Eastern, and the ever-popular VodkaPundit Drunkblog™ launching at 8 p.m. You’re definitely not going to want to miss this. [UPDATE: Live results here]
DDHQ will be gathering vote counts throughout the night from the 1,600 precincts in Iowa and we’ll be posting those at PJM as soon as they’re released.
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.
“First alignment” is the first round of voting where caucus goes may vote for any candidate. Candidates who fail to reach 15% support in the precinct vote are eliminated and their voters are then able to support another candidate in the second round.
“Final alignment” is the second round of voting after supporters of candidates who did not meet the initial support threshold move to their second choice candidate or can elect to remain uncommitted.
It’s the results from this “final alignment” round that are used to calculate county convention delegates and then “state delegate equivalents” and ultimately, national convention delegates.
We’ll be reporting all three sets of results as the night progresses. DDHQ will declare the winner of the caucuses based on the “final alignment”—the state delegate equivalents.
Because releasing the raw vote totals hasn’t been tried before, things are likely to be very fluid and maybe quite dicey before we get to the end of this thing tonight. Candidates will go up and down as Iowans coerce, negotiate, and jostle to get their candidates to the top of the heap. Don’t be surprised if there’s a lot of confusion and even some outrage as the public sees candidates rise and fall throughout the night.
Stay tuned and buckle up.