Iowa Caucus

[Note: This entry has been updated several times since its original draft, due to the fluctuating nature of the Iowa delegate count.]

Well I was going to start a 2020 presidential primary timeline tonight, but I guess that will have to wait. Due to a new app that was supposed to help the Iowa Democratic Party deliver results faster blowing up, paired with the party’s mandate that it deliver a second data set in addition to delegates, there are no results as I write this at 1 a.m. Tuesday. I am reading that the campaigns are yelling at the party, the Biden campaign lawyers have already sent a nasty letter to the IDP, and all of the candidates have made speeches that essentially declared victory in Iowa “and now on to New Hampshire.”

This is not an auspicious start to primary season.

Some vital details to understand about the Iowa caucus in 2020:

An additional data point was publicly announced in 2020 to fulfil a mandate of the Democratic National Committee. The Iowa Democratic Party for the first time in 2020 reported raw vote numbers following the first and second alignment rounds. Previously, the Party had only released delegate counts and the State Delegate Equivalents.

SDEs = the number of people in a candidate’s corner multiplied by the number of delegates assigned to that precinct, divided by the total number of caucus-goers. So the number ends up based on a ratio of success in a particular precinct per total caucus turnout.

This is how Sanders actually won the popular vote [Sanders, 45,842 (26.5%); Buttigieg, 43,274 (25.1%)], and yet Buttigieg may have ended up with more delegates. However, as of this update (Feb. 10), Iowa is not final. AP still has not declared a winner, and both the Sanders and Buttigieg campaigns are requesting a recanvassing.

Here’s where Iowa stands as of Feb. 12: Iowa offers 41 delegates. But the Associated Press has yet to declare a winner in Iowa. The Iowa Democratic Party initially allocated 14 national delegates to Buttigieg, 12 to Sanders, 8 to Warren, and one to Klobuchar. But the AP has listed one delegate as unallocated due to counting irregularities. The unallocated delegate will be awarded to either Buttigieg or Sanders once a winner is declared. I am for now updating my count to match this report. One delegate has been allocated to “Limbo.”

Delegates TTD: Buttigieg, 13; Sanders, 12; Warren, 8; Biden, 6; Klobuchar, 1; Limbo, 1.

Feb. 1, 2016: Pledged delegates TTD: Clinton, 23; Sanders, 21.

January 3, 2008: Obama, 37.6%, 16 delegates; Edwards, 29.7%, 14 delegates; Clinton, 29.4%, 15 delegates.

Next: February 11, New Hampshire primary

New York primary is April 28.

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