Iowa Caucus? More like Iowa FLOPus

Last Tuesday, Iowa was supposed to give us results from their primary that would likely reflect how the rest of the primary elections would go in 2020, and who will likely win the nomination, but due to some “technical difficulties” we got the results almost a week later. 

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Iowa Caucus? More like Iowa FLOPus

Anna McClellan, staff reporter

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Last Monday was the 2020 Iowa caucus. Well, at least it was supposed to be. 

What was supposed to only take a few hours, ended up taking more like a week, and we only found out who won yesterday on February 10th. 

Monday night at seven PM, Iowans met to decide which delegates would go to which presidential candidates, Republicans finding easy with 97 percent of votes going to current president Donald Trump, who gained 39 delegates in the process. 

Democrats, on the other hand, had a more interesting turn of events. Whereas Republicans had 100 percent of precincts reporting within 24 hours, Democrats had a coding malfunction on the newly-designed caucus app, which delayed results from being released. Shortly after the caucus opened, the app they were using to input results was said to be recording “inconsistencies.” 

There has been much backlash, some from other Democrats, some from Republicans including President Donald Trump who tweeted out last Tuesday morning, “The Democrat caucus is an unmitigated disaster.” He went on to take a bash at Democrats and then ended his tweet saying “The only person that can claim a very big victory in Iowa last night is ‘Trump’.”

He isn’t wrong, he did take a big win, but he didn’t have much competition. If you combined the campaign funding of his two opponents, Joe Walsh and William F. Weld, they wouldn’t even have half the amount of funding that Trump does. The same goes for the votes they got in the caucus. 

But how exactly did the caucus flop? Well, the results were supposed to be entered into an app on a person’s phone. This would allow people to participate in the caucus via satellite. In order to get the app you had to go through the process of getting a variety of VPNs and other codes to sign in, and you couldn’t get it from the app store, you had to get approved to access it. 

The problem, according to the Iowa Democratic Party leaders, was with the recording of votes and not the actual counting of the votes. The company who made the app, Shadow, Inc., was run by people who formerly worked on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.  The company incorrectly coded parts of the app that caused it to crash while recording results. 

At 4 PM Tuesday, the Iowa Democratic Party released a portion of the results, and have been slowly releasing them ever since.  According to the final, Pete Buttigieg is leading the Democrats with 13 delegates and 26.2 percent of total votes. Close behind him is Bernie Sanders, who has 12 delegates and 26.1 percent of votes. Elizabeth Warren is the third leading candidate with eight delegates, and 18 percent of votes. 

But who did the caucus failure benefit the most? It made the Democratic party look unorganized and unready for 2020 on a night that was supposed to be the beginning of their comeback. The Republicans, on the other hand, voted almost unanimously for Donald Trump, whom many do not support. 

Technology took the biggest hit with the app’s failure, proving that not everything is improved with the addition of technology. In New Hampshire, they still use good old-fashioned pen and paper to tally votes, a much more reliable and accurate way to record votes. 

There really wasn’t a certain candidate who benefited from it the most, but it did allow for certain candidates, like Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg, to get a little extra media attention when they went to New Hampshire overnight to meet with people and prepare for New Hampshire’s primary next week. 

The Texas Primary is less than one month from today so get ready to vote. Right now it is looking like either Pete Buttigieg or Bernie Sanders will win the Democratic nomination for 2020. Things are bound to get wild, well, even wilder than they already are.