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Iowa Democratic caucus loses its credibility

Posted February. 08, 2020 07:42,   

Updated February. 08, 2020 07:42


The Iowa Caucus, the first major contest of the primary season to elect the Democratic presidential candidate in the U.S., made Pete Buttigieg, former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, but suffered a heavy blow on its credibility.

The 38-year-old defeated Senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont by 0.1 percentage point by gaining 26.2 percent of the votes as of 2 a.m. on Friday local time, when the vote counting was completed. Senator Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts earned 18.0 percent, former Vice President Joe Biden gained 15.8 percent and Senator Amy Klobuchar from Minnesota had 12.3 percent.

Even after the counting was done, however, they were not able to confirm the ballot result. The Democratic Party announced the interim result on the next day of the election due to technical errors in the ballot counting process, and was not able to release the final result as of early Friday.

The New York Times reported that its analysis found many errors in the Iowa results. A chance to realign to support a more viable candidate is given to voters who cast their ballots for candidates with limited support, usually less than 15 percent, at a precinct. But in at least 70 precincts, there are more tabulated total votes on the final alignment than on the first alignment. It was also reported that there were more than 10 cases where a viable candidate lost vote share in the final alignment. Some suspect that it was an issue in counting rather than just a delay in the announcement.

U.S. news outlets have not been able to announce the final winner. The Associated Press reported that it could not declare the winner, while CNN plans to announce the winner if there is no request for recount until 1 p.m. on Friday local time, which is the due for a recount request.

Yong Park parky@donga.com