Boy, what a mess.
Monday’s Iowa caucuses will forever be a part of American history, but for reasons that we would sooner forget than celebrate.
At the center of the mess was a new smartphone app that was designed to make counting and reporting vote totals far simpler than in years past. Instead, we were treated to days of rampant speculation without so much as a whiff of actual results.
Despite this void of votes, former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg attempted to claim victory despite the improbability that the long-shot candidate would have truly beaten more established candidates such as former Vice President Joe Biden.
Now, nearly 4 days after the voting took place, authorities in the Hawkeye State are releasing their tallies, and there is no shortage of controversy still.
The Iowa Democratic Party announced that 100 percent of precincts were finally reporting results late Thursday night — 72 hours after the state’s first-in-the-nation caucuses concluded on Monday, and after numerous irregularities led the head of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to call for a complete recanvass.
The state party’s numbers showed that Pete Buttigieg would be awarded 564 SDEs, or state delegate equivalents, while Bernie Sanders would receive 562 SDEs. Sanders held a sizeable popular vote lead, though, and finished ahead of Buttigieg by a 43,671 to 37,557 vote margin. He fell behind in delegates due to Iowa’s unusual voting system that gave different delegate weights to different precincts.
After the “second alignment” — meaning the popular vote after the elimination of candidates who received less than 15 percent of the vote in the first round of caucusing — Sanders was still ahead of Buttigieg, 45,826 votes to 43,195.
This could be huge for Sanders, who is maintaining a sizable lead on the field in New Hampshire with the Live Free or Die State’s primary arriving in just a matter of days.