In 2008, then Presidential Candidate Barack Obama won the largest share of votes during the Iowa Caucus. He was declared a clear winner of the Caucus, and pointed to this historical victory as evidence that America was in fact ready for its first Black president. Twelve years later, Presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg intended to reinvent this strategy–this time by using a clear and convincing win in Iowa, to prove that America is finally ready to welcome its first openly gay president. Unfortunately, the Iowa Democratic Party just single-handedly robbed Mayor Pete of this opportunity.
The Iowa Democratic Party had promised to calculate and report three sets of numbers: Each voter’s first choice upon entering the Caucus, the realignment number, and finally, the number of delegates won by each candidate. Although American citizens and the Democratic Presidential Candidates alike hoped to wake up to some clear answers regarding the results of the Caucus this morning, the State Party claims they are still verifying these numbers. In the meantime, the calculated totals for all the candidates sit an eerie 0%.
The situation became increasingly messy as Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg each claimed the Iowa Caucus as a victory. Buttigieg, who lags behind Sanders in most state and national polls, perhaps relied too heavily on the Obama Playbook. Without the victory and momentum sparked by a win in Iowa that Buttigieg hoped to use to propel him to The White House, the South Bend Mayor is yet to realize what a devastating blow the Iowa State Democratic Party just delivered to his campaign.
While the results of the Iowa Caucus remain in limbo, the State Party claims there were “inconsistencies,” in the three types of reported results. CBS News reported this morning that the Party failed to complete tests of the new reporting system in certain areas. Even if Buttigieg pulls through with a win in Iowa, this victory is now likely to be met with suspicion and criticism, rather than hope and optimism.