News in Brief US Politics

What Just Happened in Iowa?

Written by Fraser Innes

The results from the Iowa caucuses are in, sort of, and the results are becoming more clear. But what exactly happened in Iowa and what can we take from it?

The complicated way that Iowans allocate their delegates by using a series of more than 1700 public votes, rather than by a statewide secret ballot election, has already received criticism and in addition to Iowa’s lack of diversity, the state’s important role as the first to vote has been called into question.

This complicated system was supposed to be made simpler by an app to collate the results quickly however this app was poorly made and inadequately tested. There has been false rumours circling online that the company behind the app: Shadow Inc. had received payment for this from, among others, the Buttigieg campaign, however this was for a different service the company provided and allegations and insinuations from many “Bernie Bros” online that this was coordinated and rehearsed are simply false and have no backing in evidence.

Now most of the results have been returned we can see that there is a very close result between Sanders and Buttigieg. With the former leading on popular vote but the later with an ever-narrowing lead in State Delegates, the complicated process which eventually results in National Delegates.

Where the two won should be of no surprise with Buttigieg winning many rural and suburban counties and Sanders having a large lead in urban centres. The surprise result was poorly Joe Biden did, coming in a distant fourth place, potentially upsetting his status as the moderate front runner.

What happens next?

Next Tuesday New Hampshire has a primary election. In its style of being just a regular election to all intents and purposes, there should be no such delays with the results. One would expect Bernie Sanders to do well, with home-state Vermont just across the border; but the onus is on Pete Buttigieg to continue his momentum to a favourable result to try and wrestle the progressive’s favourite mantle away from the former Vice President. He will need a good result here as we then move to Nevada and South Carolina where his polling is not so good.

About the author

Fraser Innes

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