Iowa Democrats should not certify inaccurate caucus results

UPDATE: The State Central Committee voted 26 to 14 on February 29 to certify results with no further corrections. This post discusses the debate and vote over certifying in depth.

The Iowa Democratic Party has updated official results from the February 3 caucuses again, following a recount of 23 precincts specified by the Bernie Sanders or Pete Buttigieg campaigns. The recount didn’t change the projected allocation of Iowa’s national delegates: fourteen for Buttigieg, twelve for Sanders, eight for Elizabeth Warren, six for Joe Biden, and one for Amy Klobuchar.

Revised delegate allocations in nineteen precincts left Buttigieg “ahead” of Sanders by 562.954 state delegate equivalents to 562.021, a small fraction of 1 percent of all delegates. It would be more meaningful to say Sanders and Buttigieg in effect tied on the delegate count, while Sanders had the largest number of supporters attending precinct caucuses.

Unfortunately, the recount didn’t address all the inaccuracies in the official results. Some of the errors scattered around the state affected neither Buttigieg nor Sanders. The Iowa Democratic Party has taken no steps to correct those mistakes, nor has it responded to Bleeding Heartland’s repeated questions about them.

Meanwhile, Zach Montellaro and Holly Otterbein reported for Politico on February 27 that the Sanders campaign will object to the revisions, on the grounds that Buttigieg should not have been able to ask for recounts of precincts where he was shortchanged.

Someone in this party needs to insist on accuracy for its own sake. Before some sixty members of the Iowa Democratic Party’s State Central Committee certify the caucus results at their February 29 meeting, they should insist on a broader review of the problems.

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Yes, Bernie Sanders can be stopped. But...

Dan Guild spins some scenarios for the Democratic primaries. -promoted by Laura Belin

Mathematically, there is a way to stop Bernie Sanders, but it won’t be easy.

Four years ago I wrote these lines in a post about the Republican presidential race:

In politics we often talk of the narrative. The narrative is not about delegate math, it is about momentum. It asks who is winning and why. It is unforgiving: you either win or you lose. It is difficult to lose and maintain any semblance of energy in a campaign (something seen in Rubio’s implosion) but it also means no more money for future primaries.

In any primary fight, there are times when these two forces are at odds. Such is the case now.

This is precisely the state of the race for the Democratic nomination. It is reasonably easy to create scenarios where Sanders does not get close to a majority of delegates. The problem is primaries are a dynamic process. The difference between winning and losing is stark. Losing drives candidates from the race or makes them irrelevant.

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Oy, the debate

Ira Lacher reflects on the February 19 six-candidate clash in Las Vegas, which drew the largest television audience yet for a Democratic debate this cycle. -promoted by Laura Belin

“Welcome to the NFL, kid.” — The sarcastic greeting veteran players give to highly touted rookies who are roughed up and even injured in their first pro football contests.

“Welcome to the party, man.” — The sarcastic greeting Joe Biden gave to Mike Bloomberg as they exited the stage after Wednesday’s debate.

Based on Wednesday’s pro wrestling show in Las Vegas, the former New York City mayor is being compared to Ishtar. The 1987 film cost a then-unheard of $40 million and was pilloried as one of the worst disasters in movie history.

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Child poverty and the country's future

Charles Bruner is a longtime advocate for policies that support children and strengthen families. -promoted by Laura Belin

Possibly the most important five minutes of the eight Democratic presidential debates happened when candidates answered the last question–on child poverty–in the recent New Hampshire debate.

It was not that the candidates differed in their approaches, but they all saw this as a critical issue and provided important reflections on what is at the heart of a fundamental challenge to American prosperity — the future of our diverse next generation.

First Focus has done a valuable service by putting the clip on You Tube.

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Iowa Democrats need new state chair–and new attorney

UPDATE: Troy Price announced on February 12 that he will step down as state party chair once the State Central Committee has chosen a successor.

What began as an embarrassing delay in reporting the Iowa caucus results has become a much bigger scandal for the Iowa Democratic Party.

Relying on misguided legal advice, party leaders are refusing to correct demonstrable errors in how county delegates were assigned in dozens of precincts. Instead, they are taking the untenable position that “incorrect math” or other mistakes made by volunteer precinct chairs “must not be changed to ensure the integrity of the process.”

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How close was Iowa? Florida 2000 close

Dan Guild walks through the math at the precinct caucus he attended, to show how small shifts can alter delegate counts. -promoted by Laura Belin

At this writing, with 100 percent of Iowa precincts reporting but an unknown number of precincts to be recanvassed, the difference between Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg is 1.5 state delegate equivalents (564.01 to 562.497).

I don’t think any account I’ve read has adequately explained how close this was.

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