It was the first step towards selecting the United States’ president, which unfortunately got stuck in the technical mud. After more than a year of campaigns, promises, debates, arguments and expenses in millions, the Democratic presidential candidates had their first opportunity to analyze their place among the voters. However, the much-awaited results of Democratic Iowa caucuses came with excessive drama of delayed results.
On Monday night, the first-in-the-nation elections did not deliver the winner, by virtue of “inconsistencies” in the data reporting. The results were stalled for hours, after the application used for transiting vote tallies was confirmed of possessing technical issues.
The Democratic caucus voting kicked off at 7 p.m. local time in over 1,600 Iowa precincts. However, no results were released even by 11 p.m. local time. The state’s Democratic Party said it was performing “quality control” on the numbers “out of an abundance of caution”.
Iowa Democratic party’s communications director, Mandy McClure said that it was merely a reporting problem, where three sets of results had inconsistencies. “The app did not go down, and this is not a hack or an intrusion. The underlying data and paper trail is sound and will simply take time to further report the results,” she said.
The most recent presidential elections left the US with severe reputation injuries and an opportunistic leader of controversies. As Donald Trump received the presidency in 2016 with Russian meddling, many recalled the experience after a result delay in Democratic Iowa caucuses.
An American author and journalist, Matt Taibbi wrote on Twitter, “This Iowa “delay” situation reminds me of Russia.”
From past 13 months, Democratic candidates have been contesting for presidential candidacy to take on Donald Trump. Out of the 11 candidates competing, four names have remained on top according to the recent polls— Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former vice president Joe Biden and the Vermont senator Bernie Sanders.
Although Democratic Iowa caucuses results got delayed, the candidates stated to continue their campaigns on Tuesday in New Hampshire, where next primary polls will take place next week.
In his speech to the supporters on Monday night, Pete Buttigieg was heard declaring victory. “So we don’t know all the results. But we do know, by the time it’s all said and done, Iowa you have shocked the nation. Because by all indications, we are going on to New Hampshire victorious,” he said.
Joe Biden, on the other hand, said that “it’s going to be a long night”. However, he was hopeful and said “I’m feeling good”.
The only top female candidate, Elizabeth Warren had optimism for victory in her words, as she said, “Iowa, tonight, you showed that big dreams are still possible in America.”
Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders had “a strong feeling” that the day marked “the beginning of the end for Donald Trump”, despite the delayed results.
The confident Democrats sounded illogical to many, as Monday also marked the Republican Iowa caucuses, where Donald Trump turned out victorious with 97.1 per cent of the votes. Calling the Democratic caucuses “an unmitigated disaster”, the President said, “Nothing works, just like they ran the Country.”
The Democratic officials were at the time struggling to with the phone app, and spending long time to deliver vote tallies via a backup phone hotline. The sudden technical error took toll of the internet, and the Americans started sharing their opinions on Twitter. While some called technology “overrated”, others stated that “a delay won’t kill the system”.
“Technology is so overrated and these Iowa delays proves this. Two hours on hold for someone to be on hold to report a result and then to get hung up. Seriously obscene,” wrote Senior Advisor Levi Sanders, son of Bernie Sanders.
An American best-selling author, Ann Coulter said, “The only possible explanation for the delay is: Donald Trump won the Iowa Democratic caucus!”
However, amidst all the chaos over delays, a political analyst at CNN, Joe Lockhart had an entirely different and probably unnoticed point to raise. Calling Democrats “not our party”, he pointed that “last night all you saw was white people caucusing.”
The host of Words Matter Podcast said, “Diversity is our strength. Fix it now.”
Democrats on Monday didn’t just delay the Iowa Caucuses results, but also lost their first contest against Donald Trump. Although the state’s party said that the results would be delivered on Tuesday, it didn’t specify the time. The candidates appear positive, but the chaos has undoubtedly raised question over the party’s position in the presidential race.