IT BEGINS: Biden Camp Has ‘Real Concerns’ About Iowa Caucus Process
With the first-in-the-nation caucuses for the 2020 Democrat presidential nomination in full implosion, candidates are taking two takes: Claim victory, or cast doubt.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who was the frontrunner going into Monday’s caucuses, 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 said.
Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, basically declared victory. “So we don’t know all the results, but we know by the time it’s all said and done, Iowa, you have shocked the nation,” he said. “By all indications, we are going on to New Hampshire victorious.”
Even Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who is barely a blip in most polls, claimed to have momentum — even though no results from Iowa have been posted. “We know one thing: We are punching above our weight,” Klobuchar said late Monday.
Joe Biden’s deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield said their team has “real concerns.”
“You see in the letter we have real concerns about the integrity of the process,” she said on CNN’s “New Day,” where she discussed a letter from Biden’s campaign to the Iowa Democratic Party asking for a detailed explanation about the caucuses’ methods of quality control.
“I think there were significant failures in the process last night that should give voters concern. You obviously had the app failure, the app that precinct captains were using to report in their results failed. You had the phone system where precinct captains, there were reports of them getting frustrated — not being able to report out their results, hanging up,” Bedingfield said. “Then you have the presidential preference cards, which are essentially the paper trail for the app, which we already know failed.”
A perfect ‘storm’ had rolled in just in time for Iowa’s vote. A newly, apparently untested app, meant to ease communication among precinct chiefs during the caucuses, failed completely, with the app designers blaming “coding issues.” A failsafe backstop — having precinct chiefs simply phone in the results to the state party headquarters — also failed, with workers being too busy to answer the calls.
In the letter, the Biden campaign’s general counsel Dana Remus said a short briefing planned for all candidates after the mess is sorted out will not suffice.
“We appreciate that you plan to brief the campaigns momentarily on these issues, and we plan to participate. However, we believe that the campaigns deserve full explanations and relevant information regarding the methods of quality control you are employing, and an opportunity to respond before any official results are released,” she wrote.
“We look forward to hearing from you promptly. In the meantime, we are on to New Hampshire, on the road to the most important election of our lifetimes,” she added.