Insane Iowa

Calvin Mueller, Headline News Editor

Chaos. Utter chaos. If you watched coverage of the Iowa caucus on Monday, that’s how you might describe what happened when results were delayed almost 3 days now. The Iowan Democratic Party had planned on using an app for reporting precinct results, but the app failed and caused chaos. They had to count all the votes by hand and then call in the results to the party headquarters. At times, they would be on hold for hours, just to be hung up on by the party. The same app has been dropped from future caucuses. 

How does the Iowa Caucus work?

Supporters of a candidate will organize together with other supporters at a certain precinct building; supporters will most likely go to a corner or designated area within the building. If a group of supporters in the corner reaches higher than 15% of the people in the room, the votes will be counted.  If they don’t surpass the 15% threshold, they must choose another candidate who qualified. 

Why Iowa?

Good question. There has been increasing scrutiny to remove Iowa as the first state to caucus, even before this debacle. Ever since Iowa took over as the first state to open up for primaries, there was criticism about its almost archaic system of selecting a candidate. There isn’t a strong argument to have Iowa continuing holding the caucuses first either. It’s not representative of the United States as a whole, therefore not a good indicator of which candidates might find the most success.

New York Times

Who are the winners and losers?

Pete Buttigieg (or Mayor Pete) had a surprisingly good night, with a 1.9% lead over Bernie Sanders, with 75% precincts reporting so far. Progressive Democrats, particularly Bernie Sanders dominated urban districts, while Buttigieg gained most of his ground in the suburbs. Joe Biden was one of the leaders going into Iowa, but he didn’t have a particularly good night and is in an unanticipated fourth with Amy Klobuchar not too far behind. The losers may actually be those who found success in Iowa, the delay has allowed candidates who haven’t performed as well as anticipated to weather the blow easier and lose less traction heading into the New Hampshire primary.