After failing to release any results from the pivotal first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses, the Iowa Democratic Party has pledged to finally release some of the results by 4 p.m. Central time on Tuesday.
“The Iowa Democratic Party says it plans to release at least 50% of results from caucuses on Tuesday at 4 p.m. CT,” the Associated Press reported.
— AP Politics (@AP_Politics) February 4, 2020
The late release follows the local party insisting that “this is not a hack” and blaming the delay on “inconsistencies in the reporting.” The party had altered its reporting system in order to be more transparent after complaints from Bernie Sanders supporters in the 2016 caucuses. The 2012 caucuses saw a false result: While Rick Santorum actually won the caucuses that year, early reports said Mitt Romney won, taking the sails out of Santorum’s campaign.
Reporting inconsistencies make sense, given the fact that the party was planning to release three separate types of results, relying on volunteers equipped with an experimental smartphone app to report results. Even so, many suspected the party was pulling the strings against the anti-establishment Sanders, who led in the polls before the caucuses.
Sanders’ campaign released a premature set of results showing the Vermont senator leading and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg coming in second. Buttigieg gave a premature speech essentially declaring victory in the caucuses. Former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign voiced “real concerns about the integrity of the process.”
“I think there were some significant failures in the process last night that should give voters concern,” Kate Bedingfield, Biden’s communications director, told CNN Tuesday morning. “I think taken together those are significant concerns. I think they should raise concerns for voters. And, you know, election integrity is obviously of the utmost importance and so we really want to make sure the Iowa Democratic Party addresses this before they put out official data.”
Former Gov. Deval Patrick (D-Who? Oh yeah, he was the governor of Massachusetts), a longshot 2020 candidate, slammed both Biden and Buttigieg for acting like Donald Trump.
“One candidate is calling the results into question because he apparently didn’t do well. Another is declaring victory without any votes being confirmed. The way to beat Donald Trump isn’t to act like Donald Trump. Our party and our country deserve better,” Patrick tweeted.
One candidate is calling the results into question because he apparently didn’t do well. Another is declaring victory without any votes being confirmed. The way to beat Donald Trump isn’t to act like Donald Trump. Our party and our country deserve better.
— Deval Patrick (@DevalPatrick) February 4, 2020
If the Iowa Democratic Party does not release the full results soon, it may doom the Iowa caucuses as an institution.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.