NYT: Iowa Caucus Results Contain Inconsistencies

Posted: Feb 06, 2020 11:30 AM
NYT: Iowa Caucus Results Contain Inconsistencies

Source: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

The Iowa caucus debacle continues; it is now day three following the caucuses, and no clear winner has been declared. 97 percent of precincts are reported, leaving Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and Pete Buttigieg in a near dead-heat. 

In addition to this delay, it appears that an abundance of errors were made in the counting of some results, per The New York Times. Nearly 100 precincts reported had some sort of inconsistency. From NYT’s analysis:

In some cases, vote tallies do not add up. In others, precincts are shown allotting the wrong number of delegates to certain candidates. And in at least a few cases, the Iowa Democratic Party’s reported results do not match those reported by the precincts.

Some of these inconsistencies may prove to be innocuous, and the irregularities do not indicate an intentional effort to compromise or rig the result. There is no apparent bias in favor of the leaders Pete Buttigieg or Bernie Sanders, meaning the overall effect on the winner’s margin may be small.

But not all of the errors are minor, and they raise questions about whether the public will ever get a completely precise account of the Iowa results. With Mr. Sanders closing to within 0.1 percentage points with 97 percent of 1,765 precincts reporting, the race could easily grow close enough for even the most minor errors to delay a final projection or raise doubts about a declared winner.

The errors suggest that many Iowa caucus leaders struggled to follow the rules of their party’s caucuses, or to adopt the additional reporting requirements introduced since 2016. They show that the Iowa Democratic Party, despite the long delays, failed to validate all of the results fully before releasing them to the public.

This delay has caused a stir among Democratic voters; rightfully, the integrity of the results is now being questioned. Candidates have moved on to New Hampshire ahead of the debate Friday and primary next Tuesday.