Iowa Democrats release some caucus results after long delay

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While campaigns were eager to spin the results to their advantage, there was little immediate indication that the incomplete results eased the confusion and concern that loomed over the opening contest of the Democrats 2020 presidential primary season.

Posted: Feb 4, 2020 5:52 PM

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Clouded by doubts on a chaotic day-after, partial results of Iowa’s kickoff presidential caucus showed former Midwestern Mayor Pete Buttigieg and fiery progressive Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders leading the opening contest in the Democratic Party’s 2020 primary season.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former Vice President Joe Biden and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar were trailing in the tally of State Delegate Equivalents, according to data released for the first time by the state Democratic Party nearly 24 hours after voting concluded. The results reflected 62% of precincts in the state.

While campaigns were eager to spin the results to their advantage, there was little immediate indication that the incomplete results eased the confusion and concern that loomed over the opening contest of the Democrats 2020 presidential primary season.

It was unclear when Iowa’s full results would be released.

During a private conference call with campaigns earlier in the day, state party chairman Troy Price declined to answer pointed questions about the specific timeline -- even whether it would be a matter of days or weeks.

“We have been working day and night to make sure these results are accurate,” Price said at a subsequent press conference.

The leading candidates pressed on in next-up New Hampshire, which votes in just seven days, as billionaire Democrat Michael Bloomberg sensed opportunity, vowing to double his already massive advertising campaign and expand his sprawling staff focused on a series of delegate-rich states voting next month.

The party’s caucus crisis was an embarrassing twist after months of promoting the contest as a chance for Democrats to find some clarity in a jumbled field with no clear front-runner. Instead, after a buildup that featured seven rounds of debates, nearly $1 billion spent nationwide and a year of political jockeying, caucus day ended with no winner, no official results and many fresh questions about whether Iowa can retain its coveted “first” status.

Iowa marked the first contest in a primary season that will span all 50 states and several U.S. territories, ending at the party’s national convention in mid-July.

Campaigning in New Hampshire on Tuesday, Warren said she was “feeling good” about her performance in Iowa but questioned the state party’s plans to release partial results.

“I just don’t understand what that means, at least half of the data. I think they ought to get it together and release all the data,” she said.

The Sanders’ campaign told supporters that its internal monitoring showed him in the lead with nearly half the vote in. Sanders himself said late Monday, “Today marks the beginning of the end for Donald Trump.”

Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, essentially declared an Iowa victory.

“So we don’t know all the results, but we know by the time it’s all said and done, Iowa, you have shocked the nation,” he said before leaving Iowa. “By all indications, we are going on to New Hampshire victorious.”

Biden said he was “feeling good” and predicted the results would be close.

The party told campaigns Tuesday that the problem was a result of a “coding issue in the reporting system” that it said had since been fixed. It said it had verified the accuracy of the collected data and said the problem was not a result of “a hack or an intrusion.”

A Biden campaign representative objected to the party’s plan to release partial results before checking them against paper records, saying in the conference call that the plan didn’t address “growing reports” about problems on caucus night, such as precinct captains unable to get through on the phone to report results.

“The stories and the problems are just multiplying so presumably you’re going to have some way of addressing that and explaining to us as you release these partial results why you’re comfortable,” Biden campaign attorney Dana Remus said. “You need to have enough transparency that other people feel comfortable about it now and we’re just not there right now.”

Sanders adviser Jeff Weaver thanked party officials, and encouraged other campaigns not to undermine the party.

“Folks who are just trying to delay the return of this because of their relative positioning in the results last night, I think that’s a bit disingenuous,” Weaver said.

For the first time, the Iowa Democratic Party reported three sets of results: a tally of caucusgoers’ initial candidate preference; vote totals from the “final alignment” after supporters of lower-ranking candidates were able to make a second choice, and the total number of State Delegate Equivalents each candidate received.

The Associated Press will declare a winner based on the number of state delegates each candidate wins, which has been the traditional standard.

Early polling had suggested Sanders entered the night with a narrow lead, but any of the top four candidates — Sanders, Biden, Warren and Buttigieg — was positioned to score a victory. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who represents neighboring Minnesota, was also in the running, while outsider candidates including entrepreneur Andrew Yang, billionaire activist Tom Steyer and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard lagged behind.

Sensing opportunity amid the chaos, Bloomberg’s campaign announced plans to double its national television advertising spending — which has already exceeded $100 million — as it expands its paid staff to more than 2,000 people.

Bloomberg is looking to next month, having decided to bypass Iowa’s contest and the three other states voting this month in favor of the delegate-rich states in March.

“After more than a year of this primary, the field is as unsettled as ever,” Bloomberg spokeswoman Sabrina Singh said. “No one has made the sale or even come close to it. Meanwhile, Mike is taking the fight to Trump every day, doubling down on the national campaign strategy we’ve been running from the beginning.”

Beyond 2020, the debacle invited fresh criticism about Iowa caucuses, a complicated set of political meetings staged in a state that is whiter and older than the Democratic Party. Many used the moment to question whether it was a quaint political tradition whose time had passed.

The party has tried to accommodate critics before, this year by promising to report three different data points about voters’ preferences, presumably improving transparency. But the new system created new headaches.

“I think Iowa is a dumpster fire,” said Dick Harpootlian, a South Carolina state senator and longtime Biden supporter, who served as an Iowa precinct captain for Biden on Monday.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1011197

Reported Deaths: 16524
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1359292129
Lake666181167
Allen58254802
Hamilton46498467
St. Joseph44559617
Elkhart36044510
Vanderburgh32333481
Tippecanoe28037260
Johnson25196446
Hendricks23960360
Porter22985367
Madison18820410
Clark18609253
Vigo17530303
Monroe15319200
LaPorte15230252
Delaware15127264
Howard14801290
Kosciusko12410149
Hancock11773176
Bartholomew11695180
Warrick11305189
Floyd11138215
Wayne11023253
Grant10131220
Morgan9506177
Boone8965116
Dubois8281131
Henry8252153
Dearborn823493
Noble8064106
Marshall7981135
Cass7556123
Lawrence7479172
Shelby7216119
Jackson700990
Gibson6614115
Harrison651892
Huntington6447100
Knox6427106
DeKalb6363100
Montgomery6293112
Miami595298
Putnam584179
Clinton579271
Whitley568455
Steuben566876
Wabash5363104
Jasper536180
Jefferson513297
Ripley501987
Adams483777
Daviess4684115
Scott439875
Greene427296
Clay426960
Wells426088
White420964
Decatur4177104
Fayette407387
Jennings390262
Posey377544
LaGrange361778
Washington360451
Randolph3476100
Spencer340743
Fountain336160
Sullivan330852
Starke319171
Owen315571
Fulton313468
Orange295064
Jay285546
Franklin266443
Perry265752
Rush263832
Carroll262434
Vermillion259854
Parke232029
Pike229643
Tipton229059
Blackford195042
Pulaski184657
Crawford160125
Newton159848
Benton151217
Brown147047
Martin139319
Switzerland135311
Warren121416
Union107216
Ohio84613
Unassigned0544

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1524169

Reported Deaths: 23955
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1646591696
Cuyahoga1468932459
Hamilton1056051431
Montgomery742551279
Summit620221111
Lucas56539917
Butler51696718
Stark468601064
Lorain35783585
Warren32903377
Mahoning30927693
Clermont28271330
Lake27179448
Delaware24263164
Licking24027294
Trumbull22993561
Fairfield22438247
Greene22414326
Medina22149313
Clark19920354
Richland18643292
Portage18073252
Wood17505224
Allen16054279
Miami15627306
Muskingum14890185
Columbiana14153274
Wayne13852271
Tuscarawas12777311
Marion12016180
Scioto11497162
Pickaway11386142
Erie10951184
Ross10614203
Ashtabula9809204
Lawrence9783153
Hancock9741155
Belmont9333209
Geauga9008157
Jefferson8600199
Huron8427143
Union822259
Washington8114144
Sandusky7875151
Athens779579
Knox7766144
Darke7695158
Seneca7405145
Ashland6993130
Auglaize681799
Shelby6540115
Brown640091
Crawford6292130
Defiance6241105
Mercer617893
Fulton605196
Highland602899
Guernsey596371
Madison595678
Logan594596
Clinton585193
Preble5730125
Putnam5354110
Williams530888
Perry519863
Champaign514273
Jackson512473
Ottawa490586
Coshocton488383
Morrow460558
Pike435067
Fayette430363
Hardin420780
Gallia419367
Adams417995
Van Wert374082
Henry366972
Holmes3653125
Hocking357582
Wyandot325262
Carroll304365
Paulding280747
Meigs267251
Monroe216254
Noble201247
Morgan194333
Harrison182646
Vinton167225
Unassigned05
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After a soggy couple of days, the sunshine returns Tuesday and highs top out in the middle 50s.
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