The Iowa Democratic Party has begun to release results from Monday’s presidential caucus after a nightmarish delay set the campaigns on edge.
With 71% of precincts reporting, the results were to be released after what the state’s Democratic Party said was a “coding error” in an app being used in caucuses across Iowa.
“The reporting of the results and circumstances surrounding the 2020 Iowa Democratic caucuses was unacceptable,” Troy Price, chair of the Iowa Democratic Party, said at a press conference Tuesday afternoon. “The bottom line is we hit a stumbling block.”
Campaigns said they were not told when the Iowa Democratic Party planned on releasing more results.
For the first time this year, the IDP released three sets of results. When you attend a Democratic caucus in Iowa, you select your candidate on the first vote. A caucus chair counts up everyone in the room. This is called the first alignment.
After that, if your candidate doesn’t meet 15% of the vote, you can pick another candidate, go home, or form an alliance with enough people who no longer have a viable candidate to hit 15%. Then the caucus chair counts again. That’s the final alignment.
The final alignment is used to determine delegates for the state convention and, ultimately, delegates for the national convention this summer. This is called the delegate equivalent. We’re showing you the final alignment and the state delegate equivalent here. The data is still incomplete, and not necessarily indicative of what the margins will be. So please be cautious with this data:
None of this is how the caucus was supposed to go. The Iowa Democratic Party determined late Monday night that there was a technical problem in how the caucus results were being reported, which the party said was not due to a hack but rather an issue with how an app was bringing data from individual precincts to the central party. The party has consistently said throughout the last day that it believed the underlying data to be sound.
“As precinct caucus results started coming in, the IDP ran them through an accuracy and quality check,” Price said in a Tuesday morning statement. “It became clear that there were inconsistencies with the reports.” The party had determined by the morning that the issue was “due to a coding issue in the reporting system,” Price said. “This issue was identified and fixed.”
The delay in results has created an unexpected vacuum, and several campaigns have suggested they may have won based on internal data. One candidate — Pete Buttigieg — declared victory outright on Monday night. Campaigns have been livid with the state party, expressing frustration in a series of late-night calls into Tuesday morning. Some campaigns have suggested the actual results could be flawed.
Before releasing the first batch of results, Price apologized for the boondoggle from the night before. He also tried to assure people that the results being released were accurate and backed up by a paper trail, addressing concerns and conspiracy theories — some pushed by Donald Trump Jr. — that the Democratic primary had been rigged.
Price also added that the party would be conducting an independent review.
“We have been working day and night to make sure that these results are accurate,” he said. “The underlying data, the raw data, is secure. It’s always been secure.”