The Iowa caucuses did not go off as planned yesterday—for Democrats, that is. Usually first totals from precincts start showing up in media reports shortly after the caucuses end in the evening. Then a candidate declares victory, losers spin the results, and every politician climbs onto a stage surrounded by campaign workers and supporters and shouts “On to New Hampshire!”
However, this year the Democrats were completely at a loss to report any results after 12 hours of voting because of a “coding” disaster on the smartphone app that precinct captains were supposed to use to report local results.
When “irregularities” started showing up at the Democrat headquarters where precinct totals were supposed to be tabulated, officials told precinct captains to report results by phone.
Except the phone lines were immediately overloaded because, well, everyone was counting on the app to work.
As tricky as new software (it was designed by former Hilary Clinton campaign workers) can be, apparently no one tested the app in a simulation of Iowa’s Democrat caucuses before last night.
Democrat Party officials in Iowa are promising at least 50% of their caucus results will be available by 5 p.m. ET today. No word on the remaining 50%.
Twitter users poked fun at the expense of embarrassed Democrats. Scott Adams tweeted, “If Democrats win the Presidency and overhaul the healthcare system in this country, I hope that doesn’t involve any apps.” David French, a lawyer and former National Review columnist who now writes for The Dispatch, and who for a few days thought about running for President in the 2016 election, got exactly one vote in the Republican caucuses last night. His tweet late last evening made fun of himself and the Democrats, “Without spending any money and without any effort, at this moment I have more official support in Iowa than any Democratic candidate. This is only the beginning.”
The lack of official results didn’t stop at least one candidate from declaring victory. Pete Buttigieg told his assembled supporters last evening, without the benefit of any numbers, “an improbable hope became an undeniable reality. 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, because by all indications, we are going on to New Hampshire victorious.”
Bernie Sanders also claimed victory, but both candidates later explained that they were looking at their own internal polling numbers, not relying on official vote totals.
Meanwhile, on the Republican side, it’s no surprise that President Trump garnered 97.1% of the caucus vote, as he was mostly unopposed.
Worried Democrats in Nevada made it clear today that they will not be using the Iowa app, which they originally intended to use to collect results for their caucuses, scheduled for February 22.
I guess you could say they are app-rehensive about using it.