Democratic party officials in Iowa worked furiously Tuesday to deliver the delayed results of their first-in-the-nation caucus, as frustrated presidential candidates claimed momentum and plowed ahead in their quest for the White House.
Technology problems and reporting “inconsistencies” kept Iowa Democratic Party officials from releasing results from Monday’s caucus, the much-hyped kickoff to the 2020 primary. It was an embarrassing twist after months of promoting the contest as a chance for Democrats to find some clarity in a jumbled field with no clear front-runner.
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Instead, caucus day ended with no winner, no official results and many fresh questions about whether Iowa can retain its coveted “first” status.
State party officials said final results would be released later Tuesday and offered assurances that the problem was not a result of “a hack or an intrusion.” Officials were conducting quality checks and verifying results, prioritizing the integrity of the results, the party said in a statement.
The statement came after tens of thousands of voters spent hours Monday night sorting through a field of nearly a dozen candidates who had spent much of the previous year fighting to win the opening contest of the 2020 campaign and, ultimately, the opportunity to take on U.S. President Donald Trump this fall.
The candidates didn’t wait for the party to resolve its issues before claiming, if not victory, progress and moving on to next-up New Hampshire.
“It looks like it’s going to be a long night, but we’re feeling good,” former Vice-President Joe Biden said, suggesting the final results would “be close.”
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said he had “a good feeling we’re going to be doing very, very well here in Iowa” once results were posted. “Today marks the beginning of the end for Donald Trump,” he predicted.
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“Listen, it’s too close to call,” Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren said. “The road won’t be easy. But we are built for the long haul.”
And Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, was most certain.