The Associated Press has been declaring the winner of U.S. elections forever. In fact, most TV networks and newspapers don’t make their own calls until AP does so.
But the wire service wants nothing to do with the caucuses Iowa conducted on Monday in the first vote of the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination process.
“The Associated Press said Thursday that it is unable to declare a winner of Iowa’s Democratic caucuses,” the AP writes.
Following the Iowa Democratic Party’s release of new results late Thursday night, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg leads Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders by two state delegate equivalents out of 2,152 counted. That is a margin of 0.09 percentage points.
However, there is evidence the party has not accurately tabulated some of its results, including those released late Thursday that the party reported as complete. The AP’s tabulation of the party’s results are at 99% of precincts reporting, with data missing from one of 1,765 precincts, among other issues.
Further, even as the Iowa Democratic Party’s effort to complete its tabulation of the caucus results continued Thursday, Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez asked the Iowa Democratic Party to conduct a recanvass. That is not a recount, but rather a check of the vote count to ensure the results were added correctly.
A recanvass is a review of the worksheets from each caucus site to ensure accuracy.
The IDP will continue to report results.
— Tom Perez (@TomPerez) February 6, 2020
The AP took the unusual step of not declaring a winner because there were simply to many irregularities.
“According to a New York Times analysis, more than 100 precincts reported results that were internally inconsistent, that were missing data or that were not possible under the complex rules of the Iowa caucuses,” The Times wrote.
“The Associated Press calls a race when there is a clear indication of a winner. Because of a tight margin between former Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Bernie Sanders and the irregularities in this year’s caucus process, it is not possible to determine a winner at this point,” said Sally Buzbee, AP’s senior vice president and executive editor.
On Friday, President Trump jumped in to mock the debacle.
“The Democrat Party has given up on counting votes in Iowa. Looks like it all got computer “fried”. Nobody knows who the real winner is. Maybe it’s Sleepy Joe, but it’s not looking that way. They lost millions & millions of dollars, all for NOTHING. But I WON Iowa big!” he wrote on Twitter.
The Democrat Party has given up on counting votes in Iowa. Looks like it all got computer “fried”. Nobody knows who the real winner is. Maybe it’s Sleepy Joe, but it’s not looking that way. They lost millions & millions of dollars, all for NOTHING. But I WON Iowa big!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 7, 2020