The Iowa caucuses debacle
5 February 2020
The day-long delay in the reporting of voting results from Monday night’s Iowa Democratic caucuses is an unprecedented event, even by the sordid standards of American capitalist politics.
For some 20 hours after an estimated 175,000 people had participated in caucus meetings, the Iowa Democratic Party refused to report a single vote, claiming technical difficulties in the app used to report the precinct caucus totals to party headquarters.
When partial vote totals were finally released at 4 p.m. Tuesday, local time in Des Moines, it was for only 62 percent of the nearly 1,800 precinct caucuses. State party chairman Troy Price refused to explain how the 62 percent had been selected, or what distinguished these from the 38 percent not yet reported. He brushed aside repeated questions about when a final count would be ready.
Whatever the specific intentions of the Iowa state party leaders, every action they have taken in the caucus crisis has been to the detriment of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and to the benefit of former South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg. The former naval intelligence officer has been declared the winner of the caucuses by the media because, in the results tabulated for 62 percent of precincts, he placed first in the obscure category of “state delegate equivalents,” the metric highlighted by the state party.
In the same tabulation, Sanders won the most votes, both in the initial count and in the second round after “unviable” candidates—those with less than 15 percent support—had been eliminated. Moreover, much of the unreported vote is from college and factory towns where the Vermont senator posted his best results. It is quite possible that Sanders will also lead in delegate equivalents once a final count is reported.
In previous Iowa caucuses, results were tabulated and made public within two hours of voters arriving at the precinct. The candidates proclaimed the winner in the last four contested Iowa caucuses all went on to win the party’s nomination: Al Gore in 2000, John Kerry in 2004, Barack Obama in 2008 and Hillary Clinton in 2016. But there were no media headlines Monday night and Tuesday morning about Bernie Sanders winning the most votes in Iowa in 2020.
Nor were there blaring headlines about the debacle for former Vice President Joe Biden, once the presumed frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, who finished a poor fourth in the tally reported Tuesday afternoon. Biden may actually finish as low as fifth in the final count, since Senator Amy Klobuchar trailed him by only a small margin.
It is impossible to say at this point exactly what is behind the delay in reporting from Iowa. However, the claim that all that is involved is a “glitch” in a reporting app—produced by a highly-connected Democratic Party technology company—raises more questions than it answers. The media, which readily swallows incredible tales about Russian “meddling” in American politics, was quick to denounce any questioning of the motives for the delay as a “conspiracy theory.”
The whole process is highly suspect and suspicious, ripe for political manipulation. The delay in the Iowa results, moreover, followed by only a couple of days the cancellation of a final poll by the Des Moines Register, after the Buttigieg campaign complained that at least one caller for the telephone survey had omitted their candidate’s name. The highly influential poll was expected to show a sizeable Sanders lead across the state.
It would be naive to separate the alleged “technical glitches” in the Iowa vote reporting from the broader political context. The weeks leading up to the Iowa caucuses were dominated by a concerted campaign against Sanders, which included the intervention of Hillary Clinton, John Kerry and other figures in the party establishment, as well as the corporate media, all claiming that the nomination of a self-proclaimed “democratic socialist” would have disastrous consequences.
This anti-Sanders campaign demonstrates that the Democratic Party establishment is just as hostile as Donald Trump to the rising militancy in the working class and the growing support for socialism among both working people and youth. It is not Sanders himself, but this shift to the left among the broad masses that is a nightmare for all factions of the capitalist ruling elite.
The Democratic primary campaign has seen the formation of two groups of candidates—a left wing headed by Sanders and Senator Elizabeth Warren, and a right wing comprised of Biden, Buttigieg and Klobuchar. Each has drawn the support of about half the party’s prospective voters.
Excerpt from an article published in WSWS.org
Anti-Sanders billionaires, behind the app that delayed Iowa’s voting results
Pro-Israel Buttigieg backer Seth Klarman is top funder of group behind Iowa’s disastrous voting app
By Max Blumenthal
Feb. 4, 2020
Behind the app that delayed Iowa’s voting results is a dark money operation funded by anti-Sanders billionaires. Its top donor, Seth Klarman, is a Buttigieg backer who has dumped money into pro-settler Israel lobby groups.
February 04, 2020 “Information Clearing House” – At the time of publication, twelve hours after voting in the Democratic Party’s Iowa caucuses ended, the results have not been announced. The delay in reporting is the result of a failed app developed by a company appropriately named Shadow Inc.
Read more at http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/52942.htm
Bernie Sanders Responds to Trump’s Third State of the Union Address
The Democratic presidential candidate spoke from an event in New Hampshire, just a day after the Iowa caucuses.
Feb. 4, 2020
Speaking by video from Manchester, New Hampshire, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday night delivered a response to President Donald Trump’s third State of the Union address—which Sanders and some Democrats in the House and Senate did not attend.
Read more at https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/02/04/watch-bernie-sanders-responds-trumps-third-state-union-address
DNC Declares War on Sanders…Again
by Scott Tucker
Feb. 4, 2020
There’s already lots of evidence that the DNC old guard will sabotage Bernie’s campaign. Again. For example, take a look through the sources, links and excerpts below this column.
The New York Times also ran more op ed slander against Sanders this past Saturday. Among younger people especially, however, predictable dark money ads and redbaiting “centrist” talking points have spectacularly backfired. Donations and volunteer efforts for Sanders increase.
Read more at https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/02/04/dnc-declares-war-on-sanders-again/