The Iowa Clusterf*ck

Appears that the total chaos in Iowa is coming to an end….the numbers are in (sort of)……..

Clouded by doubts on a chaotic day-after, the Iowa Democratic Party began releasing partial results of the state’s first-in-the-nation presidential caucus on Tuesday, the AP reports. The data, made public for the first time nearly 24 hours after voting concluded, reflected the results of 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. CNN currently has Pete Buttigieg with 26.9% of state delegates, Bernie Sanders with 25.1%, Elizabeth Warren with 18.3%, Joe Biden with 15.6%, and Amy Klobuchar with 12.6%; everyone else is at 1.1% or lower.

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 big news was not the voting…..but the future for the first in the nation vote……

If you thought people were fed up with Iowa’s first-in-the-nation voting status before Monday night’s chaos, it’s nothing compared to the sentiment surfacing Tuesday morning. Examples:

  • The overview: “Iowa’s outsize role has faced attacks for decades, along with periodic failed attempts by other states to take the first-in-the-nation slot,” notes Steve Kornacki of NBC and MSNBC. “But criticism has been louder than ever this past year, and now those critics may have the ammunition they need to kill it.”
  • A prediction: From here on out, “Iowa won’t go first,” writes Tim Alberta at Politico. “It can’t go first. Not anymore.” At best, it might keep some “ceremonial capacity” in the early stages of the nominating season, but “Monday night will go down as the self-inflicted knockout punch, and with it, the end of a political era.” He adds that the state’s refusal to use a simpler voting method is one reason it has become a political “punch line.”
  • RIP, I: Responding to a tweet praising esteemed Iowa political journalist David Yepsen for predicting this mess, Yepsen himself replied, “Sorry I was right. RIP caucuses.” Later he added, “This will probably be the last caucus we’ll have to worry about.”
  • RIP, II: The headline of a piece by Eric Levitz at New York has a similar sentiment: “R.I.P. the ‘First-In-the-Nation’ Iowa Caucuses (1972-2020).” The influence of Iowa’s “wildly anti-democratic” nominating process has always been “indefensible,” but not even its biggest critics “dreamed it would subject the country to something like this,” Levitz writes. He’s skeptical Iowa will be able to recover from the damage.
  • Shaky ground: “Iowa has found itself—more this year than ever—in the position of defending its perch,” write Matt Flegenheimer and Sydney Ember in the New York Times. “Why should a state so disproportionately white take such a leading role, especially for a Democratic Party that prides itself on its diversity? Why is a hodgepodge of gatherings in school gymnasiums the pinnacle of American democracy?” Now, the state’s “precarious standing” just took another hit.
  • In defense: The state’s GOP senators, Charles Grassley and Joni Ernst, are standing up for Iowa, saying its caucus system “encourages a grassroots nominating process that empowers everyday Americans,” per a statement cited in the Washington Post. Its first-in-the-nation status “has the full backing of President Trump,” they added. “We look forward to Iowa carrying on its bipartisan legacy of service in the presidential nominating process.” But fellow Sen. Richard Durbin, a Democrat from Illinois and the Senate minority whip, said Tuesday the caucus system is no longer practical for modern voters. “I think the Democratic caucus in Iowa is a quirky, quaint tradition that should come to an end,” he said on MSNBC.

My thought is close them all down and go to a national primary….all this silliness and news coverage would be one day….possibly two….

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

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