Sanders wins popular vote amid Iowa Caucus disaster

Chairman Tom Perez speaking with supporters at a “Come Together and Fight Back” rally with U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders hosted by the Democratic National Committee at the Mesa Amphitheater in Mesa, Arizona.  Photo credit: Gage Skidmore, Flickr.com.

Senator Bernie Sanders has won the popular vote in the Iowa caucuses, while former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg won 1.515 state delegates more than Sanders, which are how Iowa determines who they pledge their national delegates to. Buttigieg has earned 13 pledged delegates while Sanders has earned 12, Elizabeth Warren earned eight, Joe Biden earned six, and Amy Klobuchar earned one. Sanders beat Buttigieg in the popular vote in Iowa by 2,631 votes, with 45,826 votes to Buttigieg’s 43,195.

The caucus results come among widespread criticism and confusion surrounding their delayed release for a number of days after Monday night, the cause of which has been placed on the Iowa Democratic Party’s vote reporting app, the IowaReporterApp, developed by a company called Shadow Inc. According to IDP chairman Troy Price, the IDP realized quickly that there were inconsistencies with the reports, but that the cause of the inconsistencies was not immediately clear, though he ruled out a cyber security intrusion.

“While the app was recording data accurately, it was reporting out only partial data. We have determined that this was due to a coding issue in the reporting system,” said Price in a statement on Tuesday.

The IDP had been warned that the app hadn’t been stress tested or cleared for statewide use, and several of the caucus sites complained of difficulties downloading and using the app. When caucuses resorted to the secure phone line backup, some reported they were stuck on hold for over an hour or disconnected entirely.

When the results did come in, they were plagued by inconsistencies and irregularities, several of which were noted by the Sanders campaign to prove that state delegates had been awarded to the wrong candidates and that Sanders had won the state delegate equivalent.

Even more unusual were the cases of Sanders votes being attributed to other candidates entirely. In the most visible instance, several of the precincts in Black Hawk and Polk county that were supposed to go to Bernie Sanders were allocated instead to former Governor of Massachusetts Deval Patrick and Billionaire Tom Steyer.

The Iowa caucus results were so error ridden that Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez called on the IDP to perform a recanvass. “Enough is enough. In light of the problems that have emerged in the implementation of the delegate selection plan and in order to assure public confidence in the results, I am calling on the Iowa Democratic Party to immediately begin a recanvass,” said Perez in a post on twitter Thursday. In a follow up tweet, he clarified that a recanvass wouldn’t stop the IDP from continuing to release results.

Attention has shifted to New Hampshire as the race tightened between Sanders and Buttigieg, with Sanders at 26.4 percent and Buttigieg at 22.2 percent in the RCP New Hampshire average. Biden is third at 12.6 percent and Warren is Fourth at 12.2 percent.

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Brendan Janostin

Brendan Janostin is a Mass Communications major with with a focus on Journalism and a minor in Political Science.  Currently, he is the news editor of the University Chronicle.  He enjoys fighting games, Star Trek, political analysis, and watching bad movies with his friends.

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