US Primaries Kick off in Iowa

Published February 4th, 2020 - 07:20 GMT
The Iowa Democratic Party was, for the first time in history, to have reported out three distinct sets of results, rather than just delegate totals.

Democratic campaigns and their supporters continued to wait into the early morning hours Tuesday amid a delay in reporting Iowa caucus results that state party officials blamed on mysterious "inconsistencies."

Results for the kickoff of the U.S. primary season were expected to begin rolling in at around 9.00 p.m. U.S. Central Time (0300GMT), but the hour came and went without initial numbers coming in. As of 11.30 a.m. Central (0530GMT), official tabulations on the Iowa Democratic Party's website had 0 of 1765 state precincts reporting in.

The party denied the problems were due to a "hack or intrusion," instead stating that "inconsistencies in the reporting of three sets of results" were found.

"In addition to the tech systems being used to tabulate results, we are also using photos of results and a paper trail to validate that all results match and ensure that we have confidence and accuracy in the numbers we report,” spokeswoman Mandy McClure said in a statement, adding: "The underlying data and paper trail is sound and will simply take time to further report the results.”

The Iowa Democratic Party was, for the first time in history, to have reported out three distinct sets of results, rather than just delegate totals.

The new figures are to include the State Delegate Equivalents each candidate receives, caucus-goers' initial preferred candidate, and the tally after what is called a "realignment," which occurs in-between the two rounds of voting and is critical in reshaping the equation ahead of a final vote.

Iowa has just 41 delegates at stake, a small portion of the 1,991 delegates Democratic candidates need to win to secure the party's nomination in a series of state races. But Iowa's significance does not lie in those comparative handful of critical representatives.

For candidates, Iowa is about setting the narrative heading into the primary season and seeking to use that narrative to build momentum in successive races.

That is critical as seven of the last nine candidates to win Iowa have gone on to secure the Democratic nomination, including the last four going back to former Vice President Al Gore who won in 2000 but lost nationally to President George W. Bush.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders lost Iowa to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by just over 0.2% in 2016.

Ahead of Tuesday's contest Sanders was leading in Iowa by a razor-thin margin with former Vice President Joe Biden trailing closely behind.

With final results nowhere in sight early Tuesday morning, each candidate took to packed crowds of supporters to claim victory ahead of next week's New Hampshire.

For his part, Sanders said to a raucous crowd he has a "strong feeling that at some point the results will be announced, and when those results will be announced I have a good feeling we’re going to be doing very, very well here in Iowa.”

“Tonight in this enormously consequential 2020 election, the first state in the country has voted, and today marks the beginning of the end for Donald Trump, the most dangerous president in modern American history,” said Sanders. “A change is coming.”

Biden also hinted at victory saying that while "it looks like it’s going to be a long night," his campaign was "feeling good" about the forthcoming results.

"Well, the Iowa Democratic Party is working to get this result straight. And I want to make sure they're very careful in their deliberations," he said. "We don't know exactly what it is yet, but we feel good about where we are."

This article has been adapted from its original source.     

© Copyright Andolu Ajansi

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