Iowa Caucuses Recap


The Iowa caucuses, which took place on February 3rd, caused controversial difficulties in the lacking results. The results were delayed due to “inconsistencies in the reporting of three sets of results,” according to Mandy McClure, the party’s communications director. The issues stem from an app being used for the election for the first time in response to the transparency issues of the last caucuses. The app, however, was built by former Hillary Clinton staffers. Further, around $40,000 of funding for the app surfaced from Pete Buttigieg’s campaign. 

When the app crashed, causing issues, Buttigieg declared early victory; however, Sanders’ internal numbers showed him with a comfortable victory, up about five points. The Iowa democratic party declared they were performing “quality control,” and released a slow flow of data, each time showing Buttigieg as leading, and Bernie with the popular vote. The lead, over the hours, continued to stay well within Buttigieg’s grasp until the last portion of data was released, containing major pro-Bernie areas. This late reveal of the true results allowed Buttigieg to partake on a three day victory proclamation, causing him to surge in the polls based upon a false victory. Media emphasized his victory and he surged by eight points in the New Hampshire polls. 

The app was a monumental failure; it was not secure, there were no stress tests, as it crashed immediately, and it was funded and built by biased people. The Iowa democratic party released results from Black Hawk County which contradict the data that Black Hawk County released themselves. The supervisor from Black Hawk County was confused as to why the results were not coming out, as he had provided the results a day earlier. He then posted the results concisely, which show more support for Bernie than the results provided by the Iowa democratic party. 

Considering the issues and inconsistencies of the caucuses, the main issues considered are either gross incompetence from the people running it, or fowl play taking place. Buttigieg did conquer Iowa, and it is logical to assume that some tweaking occurred in the results. Not only was the app funded by Buttigieg’s campaign and built by Hillary staffers, but all of the statistics that surfaced in the initial period were in support of Buttigieg, despite massive support for Bernie which was not broadcasted until the very end. Further, tweaking of the results was detected in the Black Hawk County results. Buttigieg’s win is dubious; results were released incredibly slowly, despite their long-held possession of results. This alone promotes the idea that there may be modifications of results. Iowa caucuses were incredibly unorganized and must be altered.