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Iowa Caucus Results – Outcome and Reporting Delays Generate Concerns and Frustration (4 Feb 2020)

A digital and mobilized reporting system for the Iowa Democratic Caucuses was supposed to provide additional speed and accuracy for the February 3 event, but according to party spokespersons, problems with the technology have resulted in delays and concerns about accuracy. This page provides news about this issue and it will be periodically updated with the latest information as it becomes available. As you’ll see below, the results are listed first, followed by some news reports and videos.

Caucus Results

As the caucus data has accumulated Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg have traded first and second positions depending on when you look at the results. Below are the results as they have developed.

New York Times (6 Feb 2020)

The New York Times has an interactive map with interactive details down to the county-level. [View]

CBS (5 Feb 2020 at ~ 8:00 AM CT)

Caucus results show lead for Buttigieg, popular vote for Sanders. Late Iowa caucus results show Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders in a tight race with 71% of precincts currently reporting results. Buttigieg is on pace to win nearly 27% of the state’s delegates while Sanders is ahead in the popular vote. CBS News’ elections and surveys director Anthony Salvanto breaks down what Iowa’s electoral map looks like, including which demographics supported certain candidates.

The Des Moines Register (5 Feb 2020 at 12:57 AM CT)

The Des Moines Register is also providing election data in realtime. The status as of 12:57 AM on 5 Feb 2020 is below. Please note that the list is sorted by delegate equivalents. Look to the percent column on the far right to get data for the collective voter preferences. [Source: The Des Moines Register]

NPR (4 Feb 2020 at 11:20 PM)

The report below is from real-time data provided from AP to NPR. [Source: NPR]

The Gazette (4 Feb 2020 at 11:20 PM CT)

According to the data below from The Gazette, Bernie Sanders seems to be in the lead with approximately 71% of precinct data gathered as of 11:20 PM CT on 4 Feb 2020. [Source: The Gazette]

The Intercept (4 Feb 2020 at 1:02 AM)

The following is an early count provided by the Bernie Sanders campaign.

“With the Iowa Democratic Party unable to collect and release results after the Iowa caucuses on Monday, the campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders took it on itself to release numbers it collected from nearly 40 percent of precincts, tabulated by its campaign organizers. The Sanders campaign reports it received 29.7 percent of the vote, closely followed by former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 24.6 percent. Sen. Elizabeth Warren came in at 21.2 percent, and former Vice President Joe Biden in fourth at 12.4 percent.” Source: Intercept, 4 Feb 2020 at 1:02 AM.

Further Reading

The following articles offer additional responses to the caucus situation. Stories are listed in chronological order with the most recent at the top. The source is listed in bold first, author, then the date/time, and title as well as an excerpt.

  • CNN, Laura Belin, 4 Feb 2020 at 7:35 PM CT. “In defense of Iowa” Excerpt: “The unexpected delay in the Iowa caucus provoked anger and anxiety among many caucus goers here in my state — and with good reason. Already plenty of Democrats around the country oppose starting the nominating process in Iowa. And the last thing Iowans needed was a high-profile snafu that discredits our role in selecting the president. Unfortunately, Monday night gave us just that and left many Iowans puzzled, defensive and grappling uncomfortably with who was to blame.” [More…]
  • The Gazette, 4 Feb 2020. “Open letter from an Iowan who ‘only had one job'” Excerpt: “I heard anchors calling for an immediate end to the Iowa caucuses because we only ‘had one job and couldn’t do it.’ That one job, by the way, was collecting three data points (first-count numbers, second-count numbers, and delegate breakdown), from nearly 1,700 caucus locations across the state — all in time for Chris Cuomo to announce the winner before his bedtime.” [More…]
  • VICE News, 4 Feb 2020 at 4:15 PM CT. “Some Iowa Caucus Results Are Finally Out, and They Look Bad for Biden” Excerpt: “With 62% of precincts finally counted and released, Biden is in fourth place in both the raw vote count and the final tally of allocated state-level delegates.” [More…]
  • Associated Press, 4 Feb 2020 at 8:12 AM CT. “In embarrassing twist, Democrats have no Iowa caucus results” Excerpt: “Democratic party officials in Iowa worked furiously Tuesday to deliver the delayed results of their first-in-the-nation caucus, as frustrated presidential candidates claimed momentum and plowed ahead in their quest for the White House.” [More…]
  • FiveThirtyEight, 4 Feb 2020 at 6:12 AM CT. “Iowa Might Have Screwed Up The Whole Nomination Process” Excerpt: “In trying to build a forecast model of the Democratic primaries, we literally had to think about the entire process from start (Iowa) to finish (the Virgin Islands on June 6). Actually, we had to do more than that. Since the nomination process is sequential — states vote one at a time rather than all at once — we had to determine, empirically, how much the results of one state can affect the rest.” [More…]
  • USA Today, 4 Feb 2020 at 5:16 AM CT. “‘It was a total mess’: Caucusing is long over, but Iowa still doesn’t have a winner” Excerpt: ” For months, Iowa Democrats fretted that new rules would produce an excess of results on caucus night and complicate Democrats’ claims to victory at this critical juncture in the presidential nominating contest. In the end, their problem was the opposite. Widespread reporting problems meant that no official results were available to campaigns, the press or the public as of 3 a.m. CST, leaving the field in a state of heightened uncertainty.” [More…]
  • The Gazette, 3 Feb 2020. “Citing ‘inconsistencies,’ Democratic Party delays Iowa caucus results” Excerpt: “Official Democratic Party results from Iowa’s first-in-the-nation presidential precinct caucuses were delayed late Monday as the state party dealt with ‘inconsistencies in the reporting.’ By about midnight Iowa time, the state Democratic Party had released no official delegate count results even though most precincts were finished and most satellite precincts had been over for hours. There were reports that some precinct leaders were having trouble reporting results on the phone app created for the caucuses. On a conference call with press at 1 a.m. Tuesday, the party promised that final results would be released sometime later in the day.” [More…]

Video News Reports

Washington Post (7 Feb 2020 at 7:12 PM CT)

With no clear result in Iowa, all eyes are on New Hampshire. A chaotic Iowa caucus has left the Democratic Party scrambling for clarity in New Hampshire. Senator Bernie Sanders and Mayor Pete Buttigieg are hoping to build on their momentum while Senator Elizabeth Warren and former Vice President Joe Biden try to recalibrate their campaigns.

CBC News – Canada (4 Feb 2020 at 10:55 PM CT)

Iowa caucus process questioned after vote count debacle. Some are questioning the systems used in the Iowa Democratic caucus after problems with vote counting. Others say it could be a sign it’s time to rethink Iowa’s importance in the political process.

ABC News (4 Feb 2020 at ~ 8:00 PM CT)

Chaos from the Iowa caucuses. ABC News’ Tom Llamas discusses the confusion and uncertainty that marked the start of the 2020 campaign.

CNN (4 Feb 2020 at 2:16 AM CT)

Cuomo scolds Iowa Democratic Party: You had one job. CNN’s Chris Cuomo chastises the Iowa Democratic Party for the unexpected delay in results from the Iowa caucuses, highlighting the amount of resources 2020 Democratic presidential campaigns expended on their campaigns in the state. In response to Cuomo’s criticisms read “Open letter from an Iowan who ‘only had one job‘” by Tim Carty.

CBS News (4 Feb 2020 at 2:07 AM)

Chaotic finish with no winner announced to Iowa caucuses. There was no winner announced hours after Iowans caucused in the highly-watched first-in-the-nation contest. CBS News’ Elaine Quijano anchored live coverage from Des Moines with White House correspondent Major Garrett, political correspondent Ed O’Keefe, political reporter Caitlin Huey-Burns and CBSN contributors Lynda Tran, Antjuan Seawright and Leslie Sanchez.

International Coverage

Global news media had been standing by for the caucus results, some having flown news teams to Iowa. The story instead turned into coverage of the debacle. Here are a few reports from international news.

ABC News Australia (4 Feb 2020 at 3:09 AM CT)

Iowa caucus results delayed as race to be Donald Trump’s opponent hits technical glitches. In the US, the first contest to choose a Democrat to take on Donald Trump has been thrown into disarray.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung – Germany (4 Feb 2020 at 2:44 AM CT)

Video zum Caucus in Iowa: Diskutieren, Überzeugen, Abstimmen. Die ersten Vorwahlen der Demokraten sind oft Versammlungen innerhalb der Nachbarschaft. In Iowa wird seit Jahrzehnten so abgestimmt. Wir haben eine Grundschule im Norden von Des Moines mit der Kamera besucht.

Republican Criticism

Conservative pundits and members of the Republican Party wasted no time in highlighting the Democratic Party Iowa Caucus issues. Here are some examples of their criticism.

By Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson is a freelance writer and tech consultant in Iowa City. He is also the founder and Director of the ResourcesForLife.com website. Learn more at AboutGregJohnson.com

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