The shenanigans begin
In his analysis of the Republican results in the Iowa Caucus, Professor Jacobson indicated that he was right to trust the voters to get the best result.
On the other side of the aisle, the Democratic Party placed its trust elsewhere. At least six Iowa precincts flipped coins to call Hillary Clinton the victor.
— David Beard (@dabeard) February 2, 2016
Des Moines Register political reporter Jason Noble covered the caucus in Ames, Iowa.
…A total of 484 eligible caucus attendees were initially recorded at the site. But when each candidate’s preference group was counted, Clinton had 240 supporters, Sanders had 179 and Martin O’Malley had five (causing him to be declared non-viable). Those figures add up to just 424 participants, leaving 60 apparently missing. When those numbers were plugged into the formula that determines delegate allocations, Clinton received four delegates and Sanders received three — leaving one delegate unassigned. Unable to account for that numerical discrepancy and the orphan delegate it produced, the Sanders campaign challenged the results and precinct leaders called a Democratic Party hot line set up to advise on such situations. Party officials recommended they settle the dispute with a coin toss. A Clinton supporter correctly called “heads” on a quarter flipped in the air, and Clinton received a fifth delegate.
Similar ties were reported in 5 other caucus locations and in all of these instances, Clinton won the toss. The odds? One in 64! Despite giving a “victory” speech, Clinton’s new found luck may be running out. Democratic voters are still scrambling to find party officials, indicating Sanders has won additional delegates.
Votes from one precinct in Iowa were still missing Tuesday morning, and Democrats from that neighborhood were scrambling to find party officials so that they could report their tally: Bernie Sanders won by 2 delegates. But the voters of Des Moines precinct No. 42 couldn’t find anyone at Iowa Democratic Party to take their phone calls. The party’s caucus hotline was no longer working. The party headquarters was locked. “It’s important considering how close the race is. We need to be sure everyone has our accurate count,” said Jill Joseph, a rank-and-file Democratic voter who backed Sanders in at No. 42 Monday night. Sanders won seven delegates, Clinton won five, Joseph told The Des Moines Register.
Shadows of the 2000 election are appearing on the horizon, as concerns have been raised that Sanders actually won the popular vote. Sanders and many of his supporters are now calling for the release of the raw vote numbers:
Bernie Sanders has called on the Democratic party to release a raw vote count in Iowa after a nail-biting finish left lingering doubts over the first, much tighter-than-expected, clash with Hillary Clinton for the presidential nomination. …He threw little light on an unfolding controversy over certain Iowa precincts that did not have enough Democratic party volunteers to report delegate totals for each candidate but did call on officials to take the unusual step of revealing underlying voter totals. Delegates are awarded in the Iowa Democratic contest on a precinct-by-precinct basis, irrespective of the state-wide vote for each candidate. “I honestly don’t know what happened. I know there are some precincts that have still not reported. I can only hope and expect that the count will be honest,” he said.
The Democratic Party results are aptly summarized by this tweet:
— Joe Nelson (@joe___nelson) February 2, 2016
If Clinton actually becomes the nominee, a landslide win for the Republicans would be another high probability statistic to enjoy.
As of today, it appears that the Democratic Party is getting an early start on election shenanigans.
Perhaps the Iowa coin toss will be the “hanging chad” of the 2016 election?
(Featured image via Twitter).