Dear Commons Community,
If you stayed up late Monday night waiting for the final tallies for the Iowa Caucuses, you lost a lot of sleep because as of early Tuesday, the results had not yet been reported. Cable news media filled airtime with speculation and unofficial entrance polls because of several snafus in the Iowa reporting process due to technology (app) problems, inconsistent results, and communication difficulties. It is anticipated that a manual, hand-tally system will be conducted today but the damage may have been done. Democratic Party officials both nationally and in Iowa will have a major public confidence problem when the tabulations are completed. The Associated Press reported:
“The Iowa Democratic Party said Monday night that results from the state’s first-in-the-nation caucus were delayed due to “quality checks” and “inconsistencies” in some reporting, an embarrassing complication that added a new layer of doubt to an already uncertain presidential primary season.
The party said the problem was not a result of a “hack or an intrusion” and promised that final results would be released Tuesday.
The statement came after tens of thousands of voters spent hours Monday night sorting through a field of nearly a dozen candidates who had spent much of the previous year fighting to win the opening contest of the 2020 campaign and, ultimately, the opportunity to take on President Donald Trump this fall.
The confusion threatened to permanently stain the kickoff caucuses and allowed critics to raise questions about the integrity of this year’s results whenever they are released. And with no official evidence to the contrary, virtually every candidate claimed momentum heading into next-up New Hampshire, which votes in just seven days.
“It looks like it’s going to be a long night, but we’re feeling good,” former Vice President Joe Biden said, suggesting the final results would “be close.”
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said he had “a good feeling we’re going to be doing very, very well here in Iowa” once results were posted. “Today marks the beginning of the end for Donald Trump,” he predicted.
“Listen, it’s too close to call,” Warren said. “The road won’t be easy. But we are built for the long haul.”
And Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, was most certain.
“So we don’t know all the results, but we know by the time it’s all said and done, Iowa, you have shocked the nation,” he said. “By all indications, we are going on to New Hampshire victorious.”
Democrats had hoped Iowa’s caucuses would provide some clarity for what has been a muddled nomination fight for much of the past year. Instead, with no results in sight several hours after caucus-goers cast their votes, they faced the possibility that whatever numbers they ultimately released would be questioned. And beyond 2020, critics began wondering aloud whether Iowa’s decades-long tradition of hosting the first presidential primary election was in jeopardy.
State party spokeswoman Mandy McClure said it had “found inconsistencies in the reporting of three sets of results.”
“This is simply a reporting issue, the app did not go down and this is not a hack or an intrusion,” she said. “The underlying data and paper trail is sound and will simply take time to further report the results.”
Des Moines County Democratic Chair Tom Courtney blamed technology issues in his county, relaying precinct reports that the app created for caucus organizers to report results was “a mess.” As a result, Courtney said precinct leaders were phoning in results to the state party headquarters, which was too busy to answer their calls in some cases.
Organizers were still looking for missing results several hours after voting concluded.”