Tuesday, February 04, 2020

Iowa System Melts Down in Caucus Disaster

Democratic Party Chairman Tom Perez

A slew of problems caused a delay in the already confusing Iowa caucus and there is a torrent of ridicule being leveled over Iowa Democrats’ inability to count votes.

Joe Biden’s campaign is demanding “full explanations and relevant information regarding the methods of quality control you are employing, and an opportunity to respond, before any official results are released.”

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., with his wife Jane O'Meara Sanders, speaks to supporters at a caucus night campaign rally in Des Moines, Iowa, Monday, Feb. 3, 2020. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

As it is, Sanders’ supporters believe the system was harming their candidate and they eventually released their own numbers from last night on Twitter. 

From Guy Benson:  “No, but seriously, let us run your healthcare,” they said.  

From Marc Thiessen: “America, you’re watching Democratic socialism in action. People who can’t be trusted to manage the votes of 200K caucus goers want to be trusted with spending $97 Trillion of your tax dollars.” 

According to ABC News, late breakers went to Buttigieg. 

Meanwhile, Trump had a great night in Iowa according to the Washington Examiner (See the below article “Never Trump challengers fizzle in Iowa voting”).


Come on, we basically know how Iowa voted: Against Biden

By Timothy P. Carney  | Washington Examiner

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa — As of 6:30 a.m. CDT the day after, media outlets had results from 0% of Iowa precincts, and 90% of the media reaction to the caucuses was about the state Democratic Party's failure to get and report results.

But we shouldn't pretend the results are a total mystery. From data reported by campaigns and media outlets, three things are pretty clear:

1.) Joe Biden bombed, finishing a distant fourth.
2.) Bernie Sanders was at or near the top of the field.
3.) Pete Buttigieg outperformed the polls to finish at or near the top.

The large campaigns have precinct captains in nearly every precinct who call-in results. The Sanders campaign released all the results they had, coming from about 40% of precincts, and it showed, by all three counts, Sanders winning with nearly 30%, Buttigieg in second, Elizabeth Warren in third, and Biden way back in fourth. The Warren campaign said its numbers showed Biden also in a distant fourth. The Biden campaign hasn't reported any results.

Nearly every reporter who reported results last night showed Biden underperforming. (In the two precincts I covered, Biden wasn't viable and actually had fewer supporters than Andrew Yang.)

The details are murky. There will be three different sets of numbers, and so there could be two different "winners." You can't place too much stake in partial numbers from an interested party. Maybe Buttigieg will win by one or two measures. Probably Sanders will. Maybe Warren will be close, and maybe she's in a distant third.

But definitely, Joe Biden bombed. He was first or second in all the polls, he is the former vice president, he has near universal name ID — and yet he finished fourth.

Biden's campaign can claim the whole process is tainted by the reporting problem, but the press shouldn't let him obscure what we know: He failed in Iowa, again.

On his first time out campaigning without Barack Obama, Biden failed miserably. That much we know.

Regular people don't care about tech failures of the Iowa Democratic Party. They want to know the results. And so the headlines should be this: Biden collapses in Iowa.


And the winner of the Democratic Iowa caucuses is … Donald Trump!

By JULES CRITTENDEN |The Boston Herald

“Can’t gin up a decent impeachment even with the entire US govt working on it for them. Can’t even run a caucus in the cornfields. Great kickoff for the Dems in 2020! Yeah, we’re the ones you want running the country!”

I mean, seriously. Never mind the rush to hard left, all the socialism, race-baiting, pretending like the economy is bad, siding with Iran, etc.
Bored with the wait, I text again:

“We’ve only been having elections in this country for 240 years. Maybe those dingbats in Iowa should try it.”

Actually, my big thought was this was all on purpose. The party Democrats, who hate Bernie, fearing the prospect of a hard-left socialist running on what they actually intend to do, were trying to figure out how to put in the fix.

Their statement: “We found inconsistencies in the reporting of three sets of results. 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 … ” Blah blah blah. Then the punchline. “This is not a hack or an intrusion.”

Ha ha! Whatever happened to the Russians and Ukrainians? Have they finally used those ones up? I took that as Democratic shorthand for, “No, we’re really, really serious this time. We’re admitting it up front. We screwed it up.”

Great nationwide ad! For the Trump campaign. Part of our crazy orange president’s weird political genius. Get the other side to do your dirty work for you. That impeachment? He must have been loving every minute of it. That sad, expensive Russia investigation, which it is increasingly clear was not only cocked up, but probably criminally so. Another Trump win.

OK, finally @realDonaldTrump weighs in on Twitter.

“The Democratic Caucus is an unmitigated disaster. Nothing works, just like they ran the country. Remember the 5 Billion Dollar Obamacare Web … ”

Not bad, but mine were better.

Anyway, the Democrats managed to suck the life out of what is supposed to be a big national event energizing the voters into a run of primaries from which a challenger to Trump would emerge triumphant, with red, white and blue balloon falls

Instead, who won the Democratic Iowa caucuses?

Donald Trump.

I wonder if he’s tired of winning yet.


Never Trump challengers fizzle in Iowa voting

By Byron York | Washington Examiner

AMES, Iowa — For six months, some of President Trump's most implacable foes have invested great hope in two Republicans, former Rep. Joe Walsh and former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld, who are challenging the president for the GOP nomination. Could they do some damage to Trump's reelection prospects?

In Iowa, that hope was put to a first test. It failed.

In the state's Republican caucuses — yes, there were Republican caucuses, even though the competitive Democratic caucuses received all the attention — the Walsh and Weld candidacies fizzled.

In the end, Trump won 97.16% of the vote, to Walsh's 1.08% and Weld's 1.27%. Others, write-ins of various people, totaled 0.47%. It was a striking show of strength for the president.

Beyond that, turnout was high for a year in which an incumbent president is assured of re-nomination. In the last election, 2016, about 180,000 Republican voters turned up for caucuses. But that was a highly competitive year in which Trump battled Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, and a bunch of other candidates. The last time there was a noncompetitive GOP caucus, that is, a caucus with an incumbent president, was in 2004, when President George W. Bush was in the White House. That year, about 8,000 Republicans showed up for what were essentially meaningless caucuses.

This cycle, the turnout was 32,004, an impressive number for an incumbent year.

Delighted state GOP officials owed a lot to the president's decision to make a serious effort in Iowa this caucus season. First, he visited Des Moines and held a rally last Thursday; it was far bigger than any event staged by any Democratic candidate. Then, Trump sent more than 80 surrogates to the state, including his two sons, a slate of cabinet members, Republican congressmen, and GOP governors. Then, the Trump campaign stepped up its social media work in the state.

The reason was not that Trump was afraid of Walsh or Weld. The reason was that Trump was trying to strengthen support in Iowa, a swing state won by Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, so that it will be in the Trump general election win column before Democrats even pick their candidate.

Organizers of the caucus in Ames, home to Iowa State University, hoped that perhaps 100 people would show up. And that was even with the participation of one of the campaign's star surrogates, presidential son Donald Trump Jr. As it turned out, 449 people showed up to vote, and another 80 or so came just to watch what was going on.

By and large, the attendees did not like the president; they loved the president.

"I think he's doing a great job," said Rod Kern.

"I am thrilled with him," said Paula Anderson.

"Best president we've ever had, outside of Reagan, maybe," said Bob Folkmann.

"I hope people are telling you they are so excited about our president," said Joyce Hoffman. (They were.)

"I'm so on for Trump," said Andrea Hrbek. "I have not loved a Republican president like Trump." Hrbek explained that she voted for Bush, John McCain, and Mitt Romney but today, feels a bit embarrassed by each vote. Not so with Trump.

And so on.

At caucuses, representatives of each candidate are supposed to have a little time to tell the audience why they should vote for that candidate. In Ames, Trump Jr. was the star of the show, talking for more than 20 minutes about his father's accomplishments and also dwelling on the investigations to which Democrats have subjected Trump and his family.

Jeff Ortiz, the co-chair of the Story County GOP, went from table to table, asking people if anyone would like to make remarks on behalf of Walsh or Weld. There were no takers.

In the end, out of 449 votes, Trump received 415, Walsh 20, and Weld 9. There was one write-in each for a disparate group: Vice President Mike Pence, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse, and Dispatch writer David French. One person abstained.

In the end, Ortiz was delighted with a turnout more than four times what he originally expected. Yes, that was a display of clout by Trump, but it was also an organizational shot in the arm for the local party.

"It's critical that we get these people to turn out, to sign up for our central committees, to stay involved right up until the end," Ortiz said. "Because there are no guarantees come November."

As good as the result was for the Trump team, it was, at best, a discouraging outcome for the Never Trump challenge. In late January, former Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol pleaded on Twitter, "Iowa Republicans: Caucus for Joe Walsh or Bill Weld or uncommitted. You're better than Donald Trump. Don't stoop to support this man so unworthy of your support."

Iowa Republicans ignored the entreaty, and others that came before it.

Now, the campaign is on to New Hampshire. As in Iowa, Trump has planned a rally in the state before the primary. Again, there will be surrogates, and again, there will be stepped-up online campaigning. The result could be another difficult night for the quixotic Republican effort to stop the president.