35 votes

Iowa Democratic caucus results delayed until Tuesday due to reporting inconsistencies and technical issues with app

79 comments

  1. [25]
    spit-evil-olive-tips
    (edited )
    Link
    I really hope this is the nail in the coffin for the Iowa caucuses. There's already the ridiculous process where some states go earlier than others which gives them more or less weight relative to...

    I really hope this is the nail in the coffin for the Iowa caucuses.

    There's already the ridiculous process where some states go earlier than others which gives them more or less weight relative to other states (Iowa and the importance of corn subsidies in US national politics is famously an example of this).

    But, at least New Hampshire has a primary. You go to your polling place, you cast a vote, done. The same process as everyone is used to for the general election.

    The caucus process in Iowa is re-goddamn-diculous. It takes hours. You stand around in a high school gym, grouped by your preferred candidate. If your first-choice candidate doesn't get 15% of the participants at that location, they're deemed "non-viable", which gives everyone who picked one of those candidates a chance to re-align themselves with a viable candidate. This typically includes speeches by a representative of each viable candidate, which drags the process out even further.

    That high school gym process takes place in ~1,700 locations throughout the state. The result is a worksheet like this, already more complicated than it should be. Those 1,700 precinct-level results then have to get sent to the state party for totals.

    (and I'm actually glossing over some of the more complicated parts - there is a unit of measure called state delegate equivalents, for example...)

    The app that's causing so many problems was trying to automate this already-overcomplicated process. I'm sure there were 100 other things wrong with its development (did they do any usability testing with older / less tech-savvy voters? did they do realistic load testing simulating hundreds of precincts submitting results simultaneously?) but the core of the problem is Iowa's process itself.

    Caucuses are also heavily unfavorable to people with any sort of disability. There are no absentee ballots. Something as simple as being scheduled for a work shift the night of the caucus means you're excluded.

    edit: oh my god this is a fractal of clusterfuck

    That worksheet I posted above? There's a 6 digit PIN in the upper right. That's used to login to the app. Only the ~1,700 precinct chairs are supposed to be able to do that.

    The app was developed by a company called Shadow. One of the founders of Shadow is a big fan of Mayor Pete...and Mayor Pete declared victory tonight, based on absolutely no official results. Even if you slather on an enormous helping of "ignorance not malice"...that just looks really really dumb.

    47 votes
    1. [8]
      Omnicrola
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I know nothing about the actual app or who wrote it, but as a software engineer as soon as they mentioned there was an app involved: This is part of the core of our democracy. Software written to...

      I know nothing about the actual app or who wrote it, but as a software engineer as soon as they mentioned there was an app involved:

      FFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUU

      This is part of the core of our democracy. Software written to help with this process should be regulated and developed with a process so rigorous it could rival NASA's process for coding the space shuttle. Unfortunately, that kind of rigor costs money, and a lot of it. You want quality you have to pay for people's time, and you have to give them the time to do it. Neither of which seems like a thing likely to happen while a bunch of technology-illiterate boomers are occupying the majority of Congress.

      As Yang has pointed out, we should restore the Office of Technology so our Congress-critters can at least have someone telling them about technology who isn't a lobbyist.

      30 votes
      1. [3]
        Spel
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        There's no reason technology more advanced than paper and pen (and phones) needs to be involved at all. NASA doesn't have that choice for the space shuttle, but you do for elections. Maybe...

        There's no reason technology more advanced than paper and pen (and phones) needs to be involved at all. NASA doesn't have that choice for the space shuttle, but you do for elections. Maybe restoring the Office of Technology would be good for other reasons, but that's all the good advice they could give anyway.

        16 votes
        1. pallas
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          I'd disagree in this specific case: there's no reason for technology not to be involved, and there are significant disadvantages to paper and pen. This is not an election, much less a secret...

          I'd disagree in this specific case: there's no reason for technology not to be involved, and there are significant disadvantages to paper and pen. This is not an election, much less a secret ballot election, and has a different set of challenges. It appears that what the software was doing here was actually extremely easy.

          In a secret ballot election, there are fundamental theoretical challenges to software control of the voting process, in terms of verifiability and anonymity. There are strong reasons as to why paper ballots for secret ballot voting are more reliable. But in other cases, electronic voting makes sense, and it's unfortunate that the insistence on pushing it for places where it is fundamentally flawed has tarnished its image in places where it would offer significant advantages, such as voting in many governing bodies, where votes are not secret, each individual vote is subject to scrutiny, and the amount of time taken per question is actually of considerable significance.

          And, in this case, software was not even being used to control the voting. In fact, it does not appear that individual votes were even being sent. Instead, the software was being used to send vote totals for each caucus. That this would fail is baffling. It's a very small amount of data (~ kilobytes), from a number of clients that is miniscule compared to many modern systems. There are no anonymization problems. It is not the only source of verification for the data; it isn't even (as is the case with electronic voting with a paper trail) the only convenient source of verification. The data are completely public and the sources are known, so tampering would have limited utility: each caucus is presumably going to have someone check to make sure the published results match their records, and, if there was tampering, can prove that there needs to be a correction.

          This problem is so simple from a technical side that it could have been done via email or a simple webform, possibly with signing keys, though they are not strictly necessary. How someone managed to create an app that couldn't do this reliably, if that is actually what happened, is baffling, and why the backup was to relay the data by phone, one of the few methods that wouldn't work, for obvious scale and time reasons, is similarly baffling. This wasn't software to run an election. It was software to send in the results.

          However, it appears that the larger problem may have been that the results, which were apparently tabulated by hand, were not self-consistent. Checking numbers for consistency, and avoiding arithmetic errors, are something that computers are very good at. It would have made sense to have software involved here during the caucus, even just a spreadsheet, that could have let caucus organizers know if their numbers were consistent.

          This is particularly the case when the construction of the caucus procedure is so bad that, even doing everything by hand, not all the results are verifiable, as information necessary for reconstructing the results is lost in the process. This is a process where counting is being done by show of hands, or by counting the number of people in a crowd. A process where it's not clear that the paper voting preference cards would actually match with the main counting method even in perfect circumstances, and where it's unclear which of the methods constitutes the official result. Very similar caucus procedures could have been used that would have been easily verifiable, particularly as there is no anonymity, but organizers instead intentionally chose a terrible method, presumably for historical reasons.

          15 votes
        2. Omnicrola
          Link Parent
          I'd be 100% on board with only using pen and paper as well. It's amazing what you can get done with simple tools. They also have the benefit of being very easy to change (by anyone) the process if...

          I'd be 100% on board with only using pen and paper as well. It's amazing what you can get done with simple tools. They also have the benefit of being very easy to change (by anyone) the process if you want to, even as you're in the middle of doing it. Changing software requires a lot more effort and caution than someone tweaking how they're counting ballots so they can count more accurately.

          The best compromise IMO, is the kind of voting machines that read a paper ballot and put it in a lock box. You get speedy results, and a hard paper trail.

          9 votes
      2. [4]
        Arghblarg
        Link Parent
        Canadian here -- USians, it has to be said again and again and again. Paper-only ballots, marked with a pencil and hand-tallied by independent volunteers with all-party observers in an open-room...

        Canadian here -- USians, it has to be said again and again and again. Paper-only ballots, marked with a pencil and hand-tallied by independent volunteers with all-party observers in an open-room process, is the only way to conduct elections that is resistant to fraud. Keep. It. Simple.

        Oh, and you should be pushing for laws to limit elections to a hard limit such as 30 or 60 days. It really does seem your elections start the day after the previous one finishes! Ban all advertising, rallies and fundraising outside that limited, hard window.

        9 votes
        1. [3]
          Omnicrola
          Link Parent
          Oh god, an election that only lasted 30 days would be heavenly.

          Oh god, an election that only lasted 30 days would be heavenly.

          10 votes
          1. spctrvl
            Link Parent
            At this point, I'd settle for an election that only lasted a year...

            At this point, I'd settle for an election that only lasted a year...

            4 votes
          2. Kuromantis
            Link Parent
            Anecdotal but here in Brazil things seem to work like that but it isn't any better than the US really. If anything it's actually worse since good candidates only have 30 days to explain their...

            Anecdotal but here in Brazil things seem to work like that but it isn't any better than the US really. If anything it's actually worse since good candidates only have 30 days to explain their policies to those who don't already know them and bad candidates only have to stir controversy for that long too.

            4 votes
    2. [6]
      NaraVara
      Link Parent
      I actually dislike caucus less than most, but Iowa makes a point of doing it as inefficiently as possible by insisting on hand-counting people based on where they’re standing and having no system...

      I really hope this is the nail in the coffin for the Iowa caucuses.

      I actually dislike caucus less than most, but Iowa makes a point of doing it as inefficiently as possible by insisting on hand-counting people based on where they’re standing and having no system for quickly registering voters into the caucus site aside from checking their card against a giant ream of printed names.

      What sounds like happened is that one of the reforms since 2016 was they were now required to have paper vote cards to validate the hand-count so people are betting the paper count and reported hand-counts disagree. Which, again, is dumb. Why have 2 sources of truth? Just default to the auditable one (paper) in a discrepancy and leave it at that.

      All that said, it’s also pretty dumb that the media insists of having a validated result to start a spin machine up within hours of a count being finished. Everyone needs to chill the fuck out and let people take their time to get the count right. Free exposure/momentum from spin is a campaign and media company problem, not a democracy problem. When the news tries to conflate the two they cast doubt on the legitimacy of the voting process even though taking your time to audit the process before reporting it and trying to get a validated number that has concurrence from all parties involved is actually the right thing to do to make sure the count is legitimate.

      11 votes
      1. [3]
        pallas
        Link Parent
        From what it sounds like, they will inevitably disagree, because they aren't even counting the same thing: as far as I can tell, there is no requirement that the second choice the voter fills out...

        What sounds like happened is that one of the reforms since 2016 was they were now required to have paper vote cards to validate the hand-count so people are betting the paper count and reported hand-counts disagree.

        From what it sounds like, they will inevitably disagree, because they aren't even counting the same thing: as far as I can tell, there is no requirement that the second choice the voter fills out on the form be the same as the person they actually end up supporting if their initial choice isn't viable, and it's not clear how the paper votes are supposed to account for people who leave between alignments.

        All that said, it’s also pretty dumb that the media insists of having a validated result to start a spin machine up within hours of a count being finished. Everyone needs to [...] and let people take their time to get the count right. Free exposure/momentum from spin is a campaign and media company problem, not a democracy problem.

        Having early results and media attention is the only reason why the Iowa caucus is a political event with outsized national significance: Iowa elects only around 1% of pledged delegates, and a candidate winning only 4% of the delegates in the March 3rd primaries would gain more delegates than a candidate winning every single pledged candidate from Iowa.

        5 votes
        1. [2]
          NaraVara
          Link Parent
          Which is also mostly a creation of the media spin machine. This is all stuff that we need to deemphasize in our political culture. Screw Iowa and the ethanol-soaked horse it rode in on.

          Having early results and media attention is the only reason why the Iowa caucus is a political event with outsized national significance

          Which is also mostly a creation of the media spin machine. This is all stuff that we need to deemphasize in our political culture. Screw Iowa and the ethanol-soaked horse it rode in on.

          5 votes
          1. pallas
            Link Parent
            I agree, but it is in Iowa's interest to emphasize it.

            I agree, but it is in Iowa's interest to emphasize it.

            2 votes
      2. [2]
        Death
        Link Parent
        So hold on, they implemented a reliable and unchangeable count of the vote to fix the issue of having an unreliable and changeable one... But then they kept the old one in?

        What sounds like happened is that one of the reforms since 2016 was they were now required to have paper vote cards to validate the hand-count so people are betting the paper count and reported hand-counts disagree. Which, again, is dumb. Why have 2 sources of truth? Just default to the auditable one (paper) in a discrepancy and leave it at that.

        So hold on, they implemented a reliable and unchangeable count of the vote to fix the issue of having an unreliable and changeable one...

        But then they kept the old one in?

        2 votes
        1. NaraVara
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          So the caucus process is unique in that people can actually persuade each other to change their minds before their votes get locked in. The "first alignment" is where people go stand under a sign...

          So the caucus process is unique in that people can actually persuade each other to change their minds before their votes get locked in. The "first alignment" is where people go stand under a sign or something to indicate where their sympathies lie. People who are on the fence are supposed to go milling around and chat with supporters of each candidate and decide which they like most before they align. Once they finalize this alignment they do a hand-count of who is where.

          Based on the hand-count, they determine which candidates are "viable," meaning they have at least 15% of the caucus-goers aligning with them. If any faction is non-viable then the members of that faction need to decide to align with a viable group or they can just sit it out. Once they do this "second alignment" everyone fills out paper cards to lock in their final vote and register their choice.

          The problem is, lots of stuff happens between the two alignments. People might switch between viable teams. People on viable teams might want to just lock in and leave before the second-alignment is done, so you might not be able to get paper cards from people who you had included in your hand count. It's a herding cats problem of bored people doing messy people things while you're trying to count stuff.

          Based on the meagre statements we're getting it's sound like they wanted to report both the first-alignment numbers AND the second alignment ones in the interests of transparency, but it seems like once the numbers started coming in they started seeing a lot of things that didn't make any sense. And even if it doesn't make a material difference in final delegate counts, the weird numbers would have been fuel for accusations of malfeasance so they, probably rightly, decided to just wait until they could manually reconcile all the weird stuff. . . across 1,600 precincts.

          All of the above is for the Democratic process. The Republican one just hands all the delegates for the precinct over to whoever gets a bare majority of the vote after a second alignment with no proportional representation. If they had the Democrats' proportional representation rules, Trump wouldn't have come away with such a big lead.

          6 votes
    3. [10]
      Loire
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      From what I've seen three of the four majors claimed victory in some form or another last night despite none of them knowing. Why are you focusing on Buttigieg alone? Sanders claims win in Iowa...

      The app was developed by a company called Shadow. One of the founders of Shadow is a big fan of Mayor Pete...and Mayor Pete declared victory tonight, based on absolutely no official results. Even if you slather on an enormous helping of "ignorance not malice"...that just looks really really dumb.

      From what I've seen three of the four majors claimed victory in some form or another last night despite none of them knowing.

      Why are you focusing on Buttigieg alone?

      Sanders claims win in Iowa

      Biden claims success in Iowa

      Edit: I understand wanting to bring up the Buttigieg/Shadow connection but the rest of that paragraph, whether knowingly or not, is painting a nefarious image when Buttigieg likely just made his call based on internal polling just like Sanders did. Calling it dumb when the two other leaders did the exact same thing is also unreasonable.

      4 votes
      1. [6]
        Deimos
        Link Parent
        If you look beyond the headlines they're at pretty different levels. Sanders is like "released internal data showing himself in the lead", and that article also says they specifically did it to...

        If you look beyond the headlines they're at pretty different levels.

        Sanders is like "released internal data showing himself in the lead", and that article also says they specifically did it to try to counter Buttigieg's claims:

        Sanders himself has not yet declared victory, however his campaign said it had no choice but to release its data to counter the claims of other Democrats to victory, most notably Buttigieg.

        Buttigieg went on national television and made something that sure seemed to be a victory speech. Even Anderson Cooper was kind of baffled by it and thought it was funny (I'm sure there are better videos of this, just the first one I found): https://twitter.com/spandakolis22/status/1224573079914856448

        17 votes
        1. [5]
          Loire
          Link Parent
          I think you missed the point of what I'm saying. It doesn't matter why the Sanders campaign did it. If his team has internal polling that suggests he won, and that isn't a lie (which it is very...

          Sanders is like "released internal data showing himself in the lead", and that article also says they specifically did it to try to counter Buttigieg's claims:

          I think you missed the point of what I'm saying. It doesn't matter why the Sanders campaign did it. If his team has internal polling that suggests he won, and that isn't a lie (which it is very unlikely to be in Sanders case), then the Buttigieg campaign will also have internal polling upon which they likely made their decision to jump the gun. Which means there is no need to suggest nefarious connections between the guy and whatever software company.

          If the Sanders campaign is able to confidently say they won based on their own numbers than the team behind another candidate with an equally sophisticated campaigb (if not more so in Pete's case) can likely make the same prognosis.

          1. [4]
            gpl
            Link Parent
            If that's the case, they should probably release it in order to bolster their claim. I don't think there was anything nefarious going on between the Buttigieg campaign and the app developer, but I...

            the Buttigieg campaign will also have internal polling upon which they likely made their decision to jump the gun

            If that's the case, they should probably release it in order to bolster their claim. I don't think there was anything nefarious going on between the Buttigieg campaign and the app developer, but I also don't think it's reasonable to claim that

            If the Sanders campaign is able to confidently say they won based on their own numbers than the team behind another candidate with an equally sophisticated campaigb (if not more so in Pete's case) can likely make the same prognosis.

            Unless you think the numbers from either campaign are just made up, or otherwise incorrect.

            4 votes
            1. [2]
              CALICO
              Link Parent
              They did, and they seem to agree with the Sanders team's numbers on Buttigieg having about 24.6% of the vote. Sanders team has Bernie at over 29%, though.

              If that's the case, they should probably release it in order to bolster their claim.

              They did, and they seem to agree with the Sanders team's numbers on Buttigieg having about 24.6% of the vote. Sanders team has Bernie at over 29%, though.

              3 votes
              1. Loire
                Link Parent
                Quoting Perry Bacon of FiveThirtyEight: If fourth place Buttigieg, small town mayor, placed in second in Iowa and beat out former VP Joe Biden that is a huge win for him. It would officially give...

                Quoting Perry Bacon of FiveThirtyEight:

                I’m seeing lots of people on Twitter attacking Biden’s team for seeming to raise broader questions about how seriously the Iowa results should be taken, considering all of the challenges in getting the vote count completed, and attacking Buttigieg for saying last night, “By all indications, we are going on to New Hampshire victorious.” I don’t see much problem with either comment. I don’t view either of them as really damaging the legitimacy of this process. If, say, Sanders is declared the winner, I don’t expect Buttigieg to go around claiming that he really won, not Sanders. Also, those statements have some truth to them. If Buttigieg finishes second/and or ahead of Biden — which is possible — that is a kind of victory, even if Buttigieg perhaps should have phrased his statement more carefully. And I have some questions about the Iowa results myself, so I understand Biden’s team raising questions, even if that has an element of self-interest. (It seems like Biden didn’t do well last night and he might want Iowa’s results downplayed a bit.)

                If fourth place Buttigieg, small town mayor, placed in second in Iowa and beat out former VP Joe Biden that is a huge win for him. It would officially give Buttigieg momentum as the moderate Dem candidate of choice going into Super Tuesday since his New Hampshire numbers are looking likely to put him as the top mod.Dem. there.

                3 votes
            2. Loire
              Link Parent
              You are correct. One of them will be incorrect. For all the bally-hoo from pollsters it is not an exact science. Remember during the 2016 elections, despite pretty much all the polls claiming...

              If that's the case, they should probably release it in order to bolster their claim

              You are correct.

              Unless you think the numbers from either campaign are just made up, or otherwise incorrect.

              One of them will be incorrect. For all the bally-hoo from pollsters it is not an exact science. Remember during the 2016 elections, despite pretty much all the polls claiming otherwise, the Trump campaign constantly claimed their internal numbers said he had a strong chance. Now I'm not trying to say the Trump campaign actually had good polling but the point is numbers can be targeted, lead, massaged, or misinterpreted. One national poll from Rasmussen and one from Monmouth might say completely different things. With internal polls we don't have the benefit of sample size to even out the differences.

              I'm going to go out on a limb and, without seeing any proof otherwise, say I trust Sanders numbers based on gut feeling. With that said, between what I know of the internals of his campaign during 2016 from covorting with a number of B-tier staffers, my brain tells me Buttigieg might have the slicker apparatus under him.

              1 vote
      2. [2]
        spit-evil-olive-tips
        Link Parent
        Biden: "From all indications, it's going to be close. We're going to walk out of here with our share of delegates. We don't know what it is yet, but we feel good about how we are" Sanders: "I have...

        Biden: "From all indications, it's going to be close. We're going to walk out of here with our share of delegates. We don't know what it is yet, but we feel good about how we are"

        Sanders: "I have a strong feeling that at some point the results will be announced. And when those results are announced, I have a good feeling we’re going to be doing very, very well here in Iowa"

        Klobuchar: "We know there are delays, but we know one thing: We are punching above our weight"

        Warren: “We don’t know all the results tonight, but tonight has already showed that Americans have a deep hunger for big, structural change to make our economy and our democracy work for everyone,” she said. “Tonight showed that our path to victory is to fight hard for the changes that everyone is demanding.”

        vs.

        Buttigieg: “So 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,” he said. “Because by all indications, we are going on to New Hampshire victorious.”

        In the absence of actual results, they're all going to spin this as "we're doing great, on to NH" and "the real caucus was the friends we made along the way". But I do see a substantial difference between Sanders & Buttigieg vs the rest. And between Sanders and Buttigieg, there's also a clear difference - Sanders both phrased it better ("I have a good feeling we’re going to be doing very, very well") and he released his internal polling preemptively. Buttigieg has also released his internal polling but it appears to be as a response to the backlash more than anything else.

        I also thought I made it clear that I thought the Buttigieg / Shadow connection was not nefarious. Silicon Valley's support for Buttigieg is well-documented, so it's not a huge surprise that employees at a tech company would favor him.

        However, I do think that puts the onus on Pete's campaign to go out of the way to avoid any perception of a conflict of interest. I'm a firm believer in the (no longer fashionable, according to SCOTUS) principle that appearance of corruption is just as bad as actual corruption. If you appear corrupt, despite being squeaky clean, that undermines public faith in the democratic process.

        And part of my disappointment is that I want Pete to do well - he's not my first choice in 2020, but I want him to do well enough that he remains a plausible contender in 2024/2028/2032. Whatever happens in 2020, Biden/Warren/Sanders certainly won't be running in 2032. One thing the Republicans have historically done much better than Democrats is establishing a "farm team" of candidates and grooming them towards higher and higher office. This is a completely avoidable own goal for Buttigieg's campaign that certainly won't help his prospects in future years (though it remains to be seen how much it'll hurt him).

        9 votes
        1. Loire
          Link Parent
          I like Pete quite a bit and my first thought reading your post was "God damnit that's nefarious as hell, Pete." And stayed that way until I saw Sanders announcement on on the news. I don't know....

          I also thought I made it clear that I thought the Buttigieg / Shadow connection was not nefarious. Silicon Valley's support for Buttigieg is well-documented, so it's not a huge surprise that employees at a tech company would favor him.

          I like Pete quite a bit and my first thought reading your post was "God damnit that's nefarious as hell, Pete." And stayed that way until I saw Sanders announcement on on the news.

          However, I do think that puts the onus on Pete's campaign to go out of the way to avoid any perception of a conflict of interest. I'm a firm believer in the (no longer fashionable, according to SCOTUS) principle that appearance of corruption is just as bad as actual corruption. If you appear corrupt, despite being squeaky clean, that undermines public faith in the democratic process.

          I don't know. Maybe you're right but to me that is an impossible standard to maintain. There are a number of political actions that can be twisted as corrupt, or considered corrupt based on political bias. I can't think of a single major politician that has ever maintained a "squeeky clean reputation" in American/Canadian politics, like, ever.

          1 vote
      3. NaraVara
        Link Parent
        The Biden one isn’t really claiming “a win.” The quote is literally “we feel good about where we are” which, in light of how poorly he did, is literally the least you could say short of “we’re...

        The Biden one isn’t really claiming “a win.” The quote is literally “we feel good about where we are” which, in light of how poorly he did, is literally the least you could say short of “we’re quitting.”

        6 votes
  2. envy
    Link
    So their incompetence is supposed to reassure us that foreign governments are not intervening with the primary?

    The party said the problem was not a result of a “hack or an intrusion”

    So their incompetence is supposed to reassure us that foreign governments are not intervening with the primary?

    17 votes
  3. [18]
    calm_bomb
    Link
    As Romanian/European I struggle to understand the convoluted electoral system in US. And especially this "primary" system is a bit confusing for me: I understand the need for a party to choose a...

    As Romanian/European I struggle to understand the convoluted electoral system in US. And especially this "primary" system is a bit confusing for me: I understand the need for a party to choose a candidate, but why not use a simple system where people vote for the chosen candidate and then the best goes to represent the party? Why all this redistribution of votes?

    16 votes
    1. [14]
      Diet_Coke
      Link Parent
      We are basically running Modern Democracy 1.0, there's a lot of resistance to change at all levels. Part of it is because you rely on elected officials to make these changes, but they're thinking...

      We are basically running Modern Democracy 1.0, there's a lot of resistance to change at all levels. Part of it is because you rely on elected officials to make these changes, but they're thinking how bad can the system be, I got elected? We also have a strong reverence for the founding fathers of the country so there is resistance to changing the system they set up. Much of the system makes more sense if you consider it from a time when the best long distance communication was a person with a good memory on a fast horse.

      16 votes
      1. [6]
        calm_bomb
        Link Parent
        Yes, I think I get how it was a good thing 200 years ago when the population was very small, but I think an electoral system should evolve at pace with the progress in society. No election system...

        Yes, I think I get how it was a good thing 200 years ago when the population was very small, but I think an electoral system should evolve at pace with the progress in society. No election system is perfect, but the one in US seems so weird.

        5 votes
        1. [5]
          moocow1452
          Link Parent
          It's mostly because the states get to choose how they run their elections, and New Hampshire has it in their state constitution that they get the first primary. Iowa wants to go first because...

          It's mostly because the states get to choose how they run their elections, and New Hampshire has it in their state constitution that they get the first primary. Iowa wants to go first because that's a thing, so they make a caucus.

          If we were to try and standardize our election systems, it would require cooperation among the states for what's perceived as a needless change at best, or hostile interference at worst, and would mean that nobody gets to be special anymore.

          7 votes
          1. [4]
            gpl
            Link Parent
            For what it's worth, I think state control over the election process is one of the few strengths of the US system. It makes it extremely hard for the executive OR legislative branch to interfere...

            For what it's worth, I think state control over the election process is one of the few strengths of the US system. It makes it extremely hard for the executive OR legislative branch to interfere with elections in any way. The states hold their elections, select delegates to the electoral college, and the electoral college votes. The winner of that vote is the president elect, who (once sworn in by a federal judge) is the president. Absolutely no input from the executive or legislative branches of the federal government needed. Very difficult to "cancel" or "postpone" elections this way.

            2 votes
            1. [3]
              NaraVara
              Link Parent
              The Secretary of State in Ohio literally stole Ohio, and the 2004 election, from John Kerry. Voter suppression schemes stole North Carolina and Florida from Hillary Clinton in 2016. It also fucked...

              makes it extremely hard for the executive OR legislative branch to interfere with elections in any way.

              The Secretary of State in Ohio literally stole Ohio, and the 2004 election, from John Kerry. Voter suppression schemes stole North Carolina and Florida from Hillary Clinton in 2016. It also fucked over Stacy Abrams and Andrew Gillum in 2018.

              There is plenty of fuckery in our elections because our media is entirely focused on national news and all local politics is basically high school clique bullshit.

              12 votes
              1. [2]
                gpl
                Link Parent
                I absolutely agree it is not perfect, but I maintain that the current system is difficult to interfere with from a top-down approach. Given our current president, this gives me some solace at...

                I absolutely agree it is not perfect, but I maintain that the current system is difficult to interfere with from a top-down approach. Given our current president, this gives me some solace at least.

                There is plenty of fuckery in our elections because our media is entirely focused on national news and all local politics is basically high school clique bullshit.

                I agree re: media focus being unduly focused on national issues. I can't say I've had the same experience regarding local politics, though.

                3 votes
                1. NaraVara
                  Link Parent
                  In the days of weak parties maybe, but now that the national Republican party exerts such absolute control even down to the country level it's actually quite easy for them. The National Democratic...

                  but I maintain that the current system is difficult to interfere with from a top-down approach.

                  In the days of weak parties maybe, but now that the national Republican party exerts such absolute control even down to the country level it's actually quite easy for them.

                  The National Democratic Party, FWIW, still has very weak control at the state and local levels. This is one of the main reasons that people defaulting to things being RIGGED! whenever they don't get their way is a little silly. For the most part it's just that these things run on volunteer labor from activists instead of professionals who know what they're doing.

                  3 votes
      2. wycy
        Link Parent
        Annoyingly, we're actually running some annoying hybrid of Democracy 1.0 with electronic voting machines bolted on. The worst of both worlds. What I want is Democracy v2020 with Ballots 1.0.

        Annoyingly, we're actually running some annoying hybrid of Democracy 1.0 with electronic voting machines bolted on. The worst of both worlds.

        What I want is Democracy v2020 with Ballots 1.0.

        4 votes
      3. NaraVara
        Link Parent
        Ha. That’s a charitable interpretation. A less charitable one is “I had to take advantage of all these esoteric rules and processes to get here. I’m fucked if we get rid of them!”

        Part of it is because you rely on elected officials to make these changes, but they're thinking how bad can the system be, I got elected?

        Ha. That’s a charitable interpretation. A less charitable one is “I had to take advantage of all these esoteric rules and processes to get here. I’m fucked if we get rid of them!”

        2 votes
      4. [5]
        reese
        Link Parent
        Can you clarify what you mean by the system [the founding fathers] set up, specifically with regard to the electoral process?

        We also have a strong reverence for the founding fathers of the country so there is resistance to changing the system they set up.

        Can you clarify what you mean by the system [the founding fathers] set up, specifically with regard to the electoral process?

        1 vote
        1. [3]
          gpl
          Link Parent
          Not the person you are responding to, but many defenses of the electoral college come down to originalism or "it's what the founders intended".

          Not the person you are responding to, but many defenses of the electoral college come down to originalism or "it's what the founders intended".

          3 votes
          1. [2]
            reese
            Link Parent
            I was just confused because I'm pretty sure the Founding Fathers were open and ambiguous about how and which electors would be appointed, hence why the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact is...

            I was just confused because I'm pretty sure the Founding Fathers were open and ambiguous about how and which electors would be appointed, hence why the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact is constitutional by a strict, originalist reading. And not only were these guys hands-off about how the states could go about their business, but they also baked the amendment process into Article V, because they knew we would need to change things. In short I guess I'm saying that Iowa chooses to have a clusterfuck electoral process despite rational alternatives, so it seems weird to bring the Founding Fathers into this. Maybe I'm misunderstanding something.

            4 votes
            1. gpl
              Link Parent
              It is indeed true that the founders pretty much left it up to the state as to how to decide electors. Early on, most states selected their electors in the state legislatures, similar to the...

              It is indeed true that the founders pretty much left it up to the state as to how to decide electors. Early on, most states selected their electors in the state legislatures, similar to the mechanism for selecting senators at the time. As for the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, I'm not so sure that it is constitutional in a strict, originalist reading. Article 1, Sec 10, Clause 3 says:

              No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.

              At the very least, such a compact would be subject to Congressional consent. Whether or not this applies here is of course yet to be settled in the courts.

              In short I guess I'm saying that Iowa chooses to have a clusterfuck electoral process despite rational alternatives, so it seems weird to bring the Founding Fathers into this. Maybe I'm misunderstanding something.

              I definitely agree. I was just noting that there are aspects of the electoral process that are defending on virtue of the fact they were set up by the Founders, i.e. the electoral college. I agree the caucus system is weird and has not basis in what the framers intended.

              2 votes
        2. Diet_Coke
          Link Parent
          The whole decentralized system where every county decides what it will do on its own, every state runs its own elections, and then the results go to the electoral college.

          The whole decentralized system where every county decides what it will do on its own, every state runs its own elections, and then the results go to the electoral college.

          1 vote
    2. [2]
      ainar-g
      Link Parent
      You might be interested in this playlist, where CGP Grey explains a lot about the US election process.

      You might be interested in this playlist, where CGP Grey explains a lot about the US election process.

      8 votes
      1. calm_bomb
        Link Parent
        Thanks. I'll make some time for it.

        Thanks. I'll make some time for it.

        4 votes
    3. gpl
      Link Parent
      Iowa uses a caucus and is (I think) the only state to do so at this point. Every other state essentially does what you describe: hold an election, and the winner gets a certain amount of...

      Iowa uses a caucus and is (I think) the only state to do so at this point. Every other state essentially does what you describe: hold an election, and the winner gets a certain amount of "delegates" to nominate them at the nominating convention. Usually the amount of delegates is proportional to the vote and population. There are super-delegates as well which are essentially party elders or other party officials who get to cast a vote at the convention as well. This latter part has come under quite a bit of scrutiny in the past few cycles.

      2 votes
  4. moocow1452
    Link
    I know that whatever snafu happened in Iowa isn't an omen or a portent for how the rest of the primaries are going to go, but it's an awfully apt metaphor for my personal anxieties.

    I know that whatever snafu happened in Iowa isn't an omen or a portent for how the rest of the primaries are going to go, but it's an awfully apt metaphor for my personal anxieties.

    8 votes
  5. SuperGracchiBros
    Link
    I'm not normally a conspiracy-minded person, but if it comes out that Bernie won by a significant margin, I'll be convinced that and that alone is why this happened. Maybe because I'm Canadian,...

    I'm not normally a conspiracy-minded person, but if it comes out that Bernie won by a significant margin, I'll be convinced that and that alone is why this happened. Maybe because I'm Canadian, but I'm more likely to attribute this to malice rather than incompetence. That being said I hope I'm wrong.

    8 votes
  6. [9]
    moocow1452
    Link
    We got results! https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/02/04/us/elections/results-iowa-caucus.html
    8 votes
    1. [8]
      Loire
      Link Parent
      If these numbers hold it's looks like Buttigieg's campaign was correct. Also interesting to note the only person who may have been outright lying about theor "success" in Iowa was Yang.

      If these numbers hold it's looks like Buttigieg's campaign was correct.

      Also interesting to note the only person who may have been outright lying about theor "success" in Iowa was Yang.

      4 votes
      1. Parliament
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        It's just not as black and white as we would like to be. With 71% reporting, we practically have a tie. Sanders wins First Alignment 24.4% to 21.4%, Sanders wins Final Alignment 26.2% to 25.2%,...

        If these numbers hold it's looks like Buttigieg's campaign was correct.

        It's just not as black and white as we would like to be. With 71% reporting, we practically have a tie. Sanders wins First Alignment 24.4% to 21.4%, Sanders wins Final Alignment 26.2% to 25.2%, Buttigieg wins State Delegate Equivalents 419 to 394, yet they will each come out with 11 of Iowa's national delegates in the end. If you want to give one of them a technical victory to break the tie, it goes to Buttigieg for winning the most SDEs since that was the definitive metric in previous election cycles.

        Generally, I find it indefensible for the IDP to report incomplete results rather than waiting for 100% when the process is already delayed anyway, and Buttigieg should have never declared himself "victorious" even after 62% and 71% were reported because it is misleading to do so without a complete tally.

        Edit: Pete said, “any way you cut it” in reference to the campaign being “victorious”. My problem with him saying that is I’ve just cut it three different ways where he lost or tied.

        7 votes
      2. [5]
        NaraVara
        Link Parent
        For a given value of "correct." Based on 62% reporting he's in a statistical tie with Sanders. Sanders could very easily pull ahead based on what we know now, and decisively so. Or they could...

        If these numbers hold it's looks like Buttigieg's campaign was correct.

        For a given value of "correct." Based on 62% reporting he's in a statistical tie with Sanders. Sanders could very easily pull ahead based on what we know now, and decisively so. Or they could break into a tie. Even Warren could possibly surge into second place if enough of the holdout vote is in progressive suburbs.

        6 votes
        1. [4]
          Loire
          Link Parent

          If these numbers hold

          1. [3]
            NaraVara
            Link Parent
            Maybe this the statistician in me, but making declarations of facts without enough relevant data comes across to me as dishonest.

            Maybe this the statistician in me, but making declarations of facts without enough relevant data comes across to me as dishonest.

            5 votes
            1. [2]
              Loire
              Link Parent
              Would you say the (presumedly) statisticians at the New York Times that calculated that Buttigieg has an 81% chance to "win Iowa" are being dishonest? Or are they using statistics to make that...

              Would you say the (presumedly) statisticians at the New York Times that calculated that Buttigieg has an 81% chance to "win Iowa" are being dishonest? Or are they using statistics to make that declaration within a certain confidence level?

              1. NaraVara
                (edited )
                Link Parent
                An 81% chance is an honest appraisal of your odds. Saying "By all accounts we WERE VICTORIOUS!" leaves no such ambiguity. And saying so is disrespectful of your peers and a pretty transparent ploy...

                An 81% chance is an honest appraisal of your odds. Saying "By all accounts we WERE VICTORIOUS!" leaves no such ambiguity. And saying so is disrespectful of your peers and a pretty transparent ploy to take advantage of ambiguity to make potentially false statements with plausible deniability. Honesty isn't just about refraining from lying, it's about telling the truth. It's not necessarily that he was trying to point us away from truth, but it betrays a certain disregard for the truth value of the claim which I find troubling. It's like trying to find excuses that will let you tell the story you want to tell rather than telling the story that the facts can show you.

                538 gave Hillary Clinton a 73% chance of beating Donald Trump before the election, but it would have been ridiculous for her to assert dominance until after the thing resolved.

                2 votes
      3. [2]
        Comment deleted by author
        Link Parent
        1. Loire
          Link Parent
          Yang going on stage in Des Moines and saying "The rumours I have heard is that we have done really well" was what I was thinking of, but sure, using the first alignment percentage instead of the...

          Yang going on stage in Des Moines and saying "The rumours I have heard is that we have done really well" was what I was thinking of, but sure, using the first alignment percentage instead of the final alignment percentage could be considered a pretty big mischaracterization.

          3 votes
  7. mrbig
    Link
    I am of the opinion that voting should simply not be electronic. Ever. Not an engineer or anything, though.

    I am of the opinion that voting should simply not be electronic. Ever.

    Not an engineer or anything, though.

    6 votes
  8. bleem
    Link
    I'm glad this will (hopefully) end these ridiculous early state primaries. Iowa is something like 90% white.

    I'm glad this will (hopefully) end these ridiculous early state primaries. Iowa is something like 90% white.

    3 votes
  9. Kuromantis
    (edited )
    Link
    "Finally it's caucus day in Iowa and we will have actual voting results to see instead of just polls" ಠ_ಠ On a more serious note, the fact that the US system has caucuses and primaries in...

    "Finally it's caucus day in Iowa and we will have actual voting results to see instead of just polls"

    Iowa Democratic caucus results delayed until Tuesday due to reporting inconsistencies and technical issues with app

    ಠ_ಠ

    On a more serious note, the fact that the US system has caucuses and primaries in different times of the year at all is a testament to the compromise and mess that is federalism.

    3 votes
  10. [6]
    moocow1452
    Link
    https://twitter.com/TomPerez/status/1225468833458245632?s=20

    Enough is enough. In light of the problems that have emerged in the implementation of the delegate selection plan and in order to assure public confidence in the results, I am calling on the Iowa Democratic Party to immediately begin a recanvass.

    https://twitter.com/TomPerez/status/1225468833458245632?s=20

    2 votes
    1. [4]
      moocow1452
      Link Parent
      I'm not sure if anybody in the Iowa DNC is keeping their jobs after this one. Kind of wild that Sanders focusing on Satellite caucuses really paid off for him, but only in the slower moving...
      • I'm not sure if anybody in the Iowa DNC is keeping their jobs after this one.
      • Kind of wild that Sanders focusing on Satellite caucuses really paid off for him, but only in the slower moving counties so it looks super dramatic.
      • Iowa, you're stepping on New Hampshire's time with the candidates, cut it out.
      2 votes
      1. [3]
        Deimos
        Link Parent
        The Associated Press has now made a statement that they will be unable to declare a winner: Amid irregularities, AP unable to declare winner in Iowa

        The Associated Press has now made a statement that they will be unable to declare a winner: Amid irregularities, AP unable to declare winner in Iowa

        “The Associated Press calls a race when there is a clear indication of a winner. Because of a tight margin between former Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Bernie Sanders and the irregularities in this year’s caucus process, it is not possible to determine a winner at this point,” said Sally Buzbee, AP’s senior vice president and executive editor.

        8 votes
        1. [2]
          Kenny
          Link Parent
          I wonder if the inability to declare a winner matters to the public at this point. The general attention span has already closed and it's so noisy that responsible reporting like this won't get...

          I wonder if the inability to declare a winner matters to the public at this point. The general attention span has already closed and it's so noisy that responsible reporting like this won't get much air time.

          Do you know what's involved with recanvassing if it actually happens like the DNC has requested?

          3 votes
          1. Deimos
            Link Parent
            Yeah, I really don't think anyone outside of Iowa will care much any more. This was a great newsletter related to it that was sent out the next day, talking about the Iowa caucuses in the context...

            Yeah, I really don't think anyone outside of Iowa will care much any more. This was a great newsletter related to it that was sent out the next day, talking about the Iowa caucuses in the context of hyperreality and being a "pseudo-event", which is kind of the event equivalent of "famous for being famous":

            The tacit admission in the tweet above is that the Iowa caucus matters mostly as a pseudo-event, that is in being talked about and that for an increasingly short window of time—maybe one morning’s news cycle … maybe. Without that, what good is it?

            Which is why the mishaps last night were so costly. It was not simply that our eventual knowledge of the “real” results was in jeopardy—although there may be something to that, too—but, more importantly, it’s that the value of the event in the economy of the hyperreal was threatened, and its hyperreal value was what mattered most.

            Hence, the discussion quickly became one of saving some of that value and the obvious way to do that was simply to get on with a speech claiming victory of some sort and getting air time for it, which several of the candidates proceeded to do. Then, of course, the dynamics of the pseudo-event kicked in again as participants argued over whose speech was covered appropriately, etc.

            I definitely recommend reading the whole thing, it's a good discussion of some of the oddness around the current environment of the press, social media, etc.

            7 votes
  11. [2]
    Comment deleted by author
    Link
    1. moocow1452
      Link Parent
      Trump won his primary pretty non-controversially, so given the choice between an unorthodox candidate and torping whatever party unity there is on this election of all elections, I'm going to...

      Trump won his primary pretty non-controversially, so given the choice between an unorthodox candidate and torping whatever party unity there is on this election of all elections, I'm going to assume they would know when to fold them, but belly ache all the way up to the conversation.

      5 votes
  12. [3]
    Crespyl
    Link
    The submission title caused me some concern until I went and confirmed that the article itself does not use the word "indefinitely" and, in fact, explicitly states: The title here should probably...

    The submission title caused me some concern until I went and confirmed that the article itself does not use the word "indefinitely" and, in fact, explicitly states:

    The party said the problem was not a result of a “hack or an intrusion” and promised that final results would be released Tuesday.

    The title here should probably be amended to clarify this.

    8 votes
    1. Deimos
      Link Parent
      Ah yeah, it did say "indefinitely" at the time I was submitting. Here's an example of another site re-posting the AP article that includes it. The article's been edited pretty heavily with a bunch...

      Ah yeah, it did say "indefinitely" at the time I was submitting. Here's an example of another site re-posting the AP article that includes it.

      The article's been edited pretty heavily with a bunch of new information as it came out, so they probably hadn't made the Tuesday promise yet at that point.

      7 votes
  13. [10]
    stephen
    Link
    Wow so the guy with the most votes doesn't have the lead??? I fucking hate this entire shitty country.

    Wow so the guy with the most votes doesn't have the lead??? I fucking hate this entire shitty country.

    4 votes
    1. Archimedes
      Link Parent
      That's the way this particular game is played. Just like the electoral college winner isn't necessarily the popular vote winner. All the candidates were fully aware of this going in and campaigned...

      That's the way this particular game is played. Just like the electoral college winner isn't necessarily the popular vote winner. All the candidates were fully aware of this going in and campaigned accordingly.

      4 votes
    2. [8]
      babypuncher
      Link Parent
      Buttigieg and Sanders are in a statistical tie, and have the same number of delegates. What exactly are you complaining about?

      Buttigieg and Sanders are in a statistical tie, and have the same number of delegates. What exactly are you complaining about?

      1 vote
      1. [7]
        stephen
        Link Parent
        Buttigieg Votes:33,094 Delegates: 442 Sanders Votes 34,136 Delegates: 414 I'm """complaining""" about how some votes matter more in America than others.

        What exactly are you complaining about?

        Buttigieg

        Votes:33,094

        Delegates: 442

        Sanders

        Votes 34,136

        Delegates: 414

        I'm """complaining""" about how some votes matter more in America than others.

        7 votes
        1. [4]
          Loire
          Link Parent
          They are (likely) both going to walk away with 11 of 41 actual delegates each, exactly the same number. Even if you flipped those popular vote totals they would still walk away with the same...

          They are (likely) both going to walk away with 11 of 41 actual delegates each, exactly the same number. Even if you flipped those popular vote totals they would still walk away with the same number.

          With all due respect everyone needs to calm down. I haven't seen anyone else's (digital) fanbase flip out like Bernie's and he's walking away tied for the "win". He is leaving with just as many delegates as any other candidate. This isn't an issue.

          3 votes
          1. [3]
            stephen
            Link Parent
            SpEaKinG As A LoNg TiME SaNdeRs SupPorteR... lol I hear you. But from where I'm standing, we got dicked over in 16 by the media and the DNC superdelegate elites and we're again getting dicked over...

            SpEaKinG As A LoNg TiME SaNdeRs SupPorteR... lol

            I hear you. But from where I'm standing, we got dicked over in 16 by the media and the DNC superdelegate elites and we're again getting dicked over by the media. Our guard is up after a half decade of shenanigans and if you were in my shoes I'd wager you'd feel the same.

            Also the delegates aren't what's important in Iowa. It's the media narrative. Buttigieg being handed two and a half days of being defacto winner in the press is a huge win for him. Especially as the centrist field gets tighter between him and Biden.

            Yeah Bernie will probably get the same number of delegates and tie for the "win." But that's not how it has been presented in the media. Going forward some people will inevitably check out from the story after hearing these days of "Pete wins Iowa" and not hear that he tied with Sanders once all votes are actually in.

            6 votes
            1. [2]
              Loire
              Link Parent
              I think I may be within some sort of bubble because I simply don't "get it" on a number of levels: I am constantly seeing positive Sanders coverage on MSNBC and Fox (surprisingly?). Those two...

              I think I may be within some sort of bubble because I simply don't "get it" on a number of levels:

              1. I am constantly seeing positive Sanders coverage on MSNBC and Fox (surprisingly?). Those two channels are on constant rotation in my office and since some of the bigger names like Harris dropped out I hear more about Sanders then Buttigieg, Yang, Klobuchar or any of the non-big three (plus fucking Bloomberg). Everyone in my circle knows Sanders, nobody I work with has ever heard of Buttigieg[1]

              2. In this election, ignoring Biden, Sanders is and was the well known and heavy favourite. Everyone who is behind Sanders is heavily behind Sanders and will not budge. Look at his First and Final alignment numbers in Iowa. There isn't movement like there is between Biden/Buttigieg/Klobuchar/possibly some of Warren's wine cave moderates. Bernie's support is set in stone.

              3. Iowa is a small Midwestern red state. Their politics are obviously going to lean moderate. Bernie is going into New Hampshire looking like the obvious favourite and Buttigieg doesn't look like he's got a chance to repeat.

              4. The superdelegate system has been revised to prevent another 2016.

              Bernie doesn't need the media attention. He is well known factor by this point. He doesn't need the "media narrative". How Iowa went down hasn't hurt him in the slightest so the rampant call's of "conspiracy!" And "DNC trying to keep us down!" this early due to a hiccup in the count just seem... Reactionary. It comes off heavily as how the MAGA crowd think and react (minus the fascism).

              How Iowa went down is the second best possible result for Bernie (short of getting all the delegates). His only competition in Biden collapsed massively. Warren's brand of demsoc inspired no one. His only competition was a candidate with zero appeal to Americans of colour which will sink him on Super Tuesday.

              Bernie is the obvious front runner. Thats the message I, as a non-Bernie fan, took from Iowa.

              [1] The Iowa result and his victory declaration can/will certainly help him become better known though.

              5 votes
              1. stephen
                Link Parent
                Those are some fine, well-thought out points which I hadn't considered (especially 1 & 2). I can't speak for the others, but I would only go so far as to say that this was incredibly shady - but...

                Those are some fine, well-thought out points which I hadn't considered (especially 1 & 2).

                "conspiracy!" And "DNC trying to keep us down!" this early due to a hiccup in the count just seem... Reactionary. It comes off heavily as how the MAGA crowd think and react

                I can't speak for the others, but I would only go so far as to say that this was incredibly shady - but probably not a conspiracy like 2016. I can't say I blame people for yelling conspiracy after the attempted anointing in 16.

                I hope you are right that Bernie is the obvious front runner... Can't say I agree still but I am 100% in a bubble.

                4 votes
        2. [2]
          babypuncher
          Link Parent
          Those are SDEs (state delegates), the people who go on to support the delegates who will cast their votes at the DNC this summer. Sanders and Buttigieg are close enough in SDEs that they wound up...

          Those are SDEs (state delegates), the people who go on to support the delegates who will cast their votes at the DNC this summer. Sanders and Buttigieg are close enough in SDEs that they wound up getting the same number of delegates, 11 each.

          1. stephen
            Link Parent
            I understand that the delegates are going to be about even. But Iowa isn't about delegates. It's about the media. Buttigieg was declared himself the winner on monday and the way the polls trickled...

            I understand that the delegates are going to be about even. But Iowa isn't about delegates. It's about the media.

            Buttigieg was declared himself the winner on monday and the way the polls trickled out over the last two days support this claim. Now with reporting up in the 90s we see they actually tied. But the fact that he was basically gifted two days of being the winner means, of course, this is how he will be perceived by people watching the polls intently the day after iowa and then returning to their lives.

            This is a huge boon to Pete's campaign. It was shady as fuck. He didn't deserve it. And yet again Bernie Sanders, progressive independents, and the progressive wing of the Democratic party are handed the shit end of the stick.

            2 votes