Chaos In Iowa

The FiveThirtyEight Politics Podcast crew discusses why the results of the Democratic Iowa caucuses had still not been reported by early Tuesday morning.
25:04 | 02/04/20

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Transcript for Chaos In Iowa
Hello and welcome to the five party politics podcast I'm Gayle injury this isn't the podcasts you wanted. This is not a podcast we were expected as the podcast America does but this is the hot cast doubt. It is about half past nine. On the East Coast and we have. No a year earlier while there's some from the AP but I'm -- don't even really have partial results. There were picked up Ian the reporting process of reporting those technicals quite the we're gonna get into the details of what exactly went wrong and what it means for Iowa Caucuses and as you Marty heard where rowdy table here tonight. Here it means is editor in chief Nate Silver 109. To say hello to everyone except the Iowa Democratic Party at a local animal on Harry and in. It. And managing record. Very nice thank you. OK so let's start in the basics we don't have the results watch it clear what went wrong why don't know the result of the Cox. Complicated question actually try to about the sickly. We don't have the results because. Reportedly. Although it's still kind of Fuzzy. The reporting process sees of the caucus. Didn't go they didn't. They're there for their apparently inconsistencies. With the with the way the various. Reports are coming in honestly we haven't really heard a clear or particularly it now normative statement from the Iowa Democratic Party. There are reports that campaigns are similarly. Ill informed Joseph Biden's campaign sent he. A pointed. Note from the campaign lawyer accused. I would Democratic Party saying we deserve answers and then perhaps a little recklessly might that it's our report on Twitter from a Biden. Surrogate Chris Dodd basically saying mean we shouldn't trust these results at all to little. Well we are saying how many use this term consultant before its ultra paean to I think. Two maybe knowing you're gonna have a bad night or maybe not out think anyone really nice that I each. But it's by this team right like it's will trumping indyk kind of throw doubt on that process with that said like. The first real crisis management. Is tell people what's happening right and we don't. Have any idea what's happening and I don't think it's any I think anybody has any idea what time. Immediate threat for elect just a little example we were we were watching CNN newsroom. A ends. Wolf Blitzer was interviewing a precinct secretary who had been on holds for an hour apparently with I would Democratic Party tech line. He's on the phone with Wolf Blitzer he finally gets to that attack people and he tries to hang up on Wolf Blitzer. But before you do that the tech line hangs up on him so I think we're just seeing sort of obviously that that cherry picked prime time example but like. This is not been and administered well. And to lay out some of the details here the Democratic Party was using and app in order to report the results and some of the blame apparently is being placed on. The reporting process through that app. Yeah I think the most we can say it and apologies listeners probably come from my place I'm sick. The most we can say is that there were reportedly technical problems with their app that as executive and precincts were supposed to report the result. There were also lots of reports of problems with like the back up process he's if that app failed right. Which means you can stop hall in the results if you're not using which has had a used to do. Exactly and to to Claire's story there were apparently people waiting for effort to do that there ponds with that. And there were also. Mayor Pete is we are short of declaring. We did tweak here at 12:24 AM repeat that a judge's account that says Iowa you have shocked the nation. By all indications we are going on to New Hampshire victorious. We we have no we have no indicate. Earliest he's gotten a little news does he need a case an analyst and let's amplify that two months before I went exactly aperture right. My Dick and you can you finish where you are saying about what we are. The thought I think the most we can take just very generally I'd say three pockets. Some tech issues. Some issues with. More low tech back up prophecies. And and maybe at me with things before recording may be put at least wait on this on. But there seems some confusion at caucus site but it meant a thing there's always some compares so the process they have is. News effecting slightly simplified the process east Egypt we did not elect candidates but state party or. Her delegates to county convention and it was a whole step platters conventions. Now you elect a mathematical thing called seat on an equivalent to basically can translate. The vote after you realign these delegate equivalents and like sometimes there's a tie into the calling about like I don't know like the processes the same process that they've had. More or less. Every year for for decades right. So you know part what's happened there was usually people in the process is a little funny little archaic. And usually in the first hour or so than people are talking about the process right joking about it complaining about it. And you start seeing results on the scroll on ABC news or CNN or whatever known hairs rather like L. It's 23% who cares about how messages processes right that's numbered I like numbers. And it doesn't matter but you have now people dwelling on written on and on I don't like. I don't know why we have. Literally zero results right. I don't know I mean slow was when things here it was another. And and I go and I like nations Rio and no explanations either it doesn't make a lot of sense in light. According to back up system is like having me relatively fully functional. Back up system right I'm soup work. Hopefully we learn more about what happened and were not gonna make this podcast tonight too long because hopefully we will get results somewhat soon. Lets you can we move on to Boston usually don't. No I just I just can the Democratic Party and directed issued statements I just wanted to get that on the record for the podcasts that magistrate that yes. And this is from the Iowa democratic party's communications director quote we found inconsistencies in the reporting of three sets of results. In addition to the tech systems being used to happily result. We are also using photos of results and paper trail to validate that all result match and I'm sure that we up competence and accuracy. In the numbers we report. This is simply reporting issue apt to knock it down and that's not a hack or an intrusion. Underlying data and paper trail sound simply take time to further report the results. Now. Our attack came out there we still hurt reporting company well there's there's there's sort of inconsistencies within this statement actually. But it's gonna just gonna take time to figure out what happened and Harry Shearer like that there's not. I mean first of all you do have. There's paper trail that part that part is true that's reassure that's reassuring. You don't have palace of Saddam balance its people and not ballots but like. There witnesses and people are very concerned about this in light but I think it's it's really strange I can't remember we've been through. As a podcast. You know a lot of weird nights and American electoral history and like this is really weird. Yet it's really clear an amateur I. Tonight let's pull back so if we are. It is like 1230 on Tuesday February 4. A week from now is New Hampshire tomorrow or tonight I guess is the state of the union. Like. Did I would just completely. The bad I mean what is going on here like is this is this what I mean in all seriousness. Is this. I would have mattered if the results are so muddied which by the way I think. The trumps seniority see them sort of saying law and the Biden team in the Biden team saying it take its will the truck team is saying it's a conspiracy. Two. Something is coming using innuendo innuendo. The Democrats aren't it's okay the amount of media coverage given to the Iowa caucus. Is a pretty salient factor in the welcome democratic primary. Right. In our model it's like literally a variable there is literally a variable where we say. Because of the amount of media coverage that Iowa again it's we have to give it like. Hundreds of extra delegates basically. To create the empirical he valid ballots in the model right because obviously isn't ready delegates right yet to say okay we're in it as though it's important itself. As Super Tuesday. Just because he met a media coverage. And if the media coverage decreases because Iowa is a joke. Or because the story is about at 1230 we have literally easier results and like back in any fear early profound impact on. The entire nomination mathematically 41 delegates at a fork and pilot. But but in terms of impact that Whitney is saying is really that they take away here is that this whole mess if it's not cleaned up. Really quickly and maybe even if it is. Could change who is the democratic nominee right. At the very at least you know people on our staff appointments ally but but typically what happens is you have or result. Handful of people do really poorly in Iowa they drop out right yeah that's not happen in this here nowhere felt like no win a ring. Whoever is the actual winner of these caucuses isn't gonna get a bounce I am current we actually write or may be a matter about or another. Made it look at a bigger balance because it'll be built up so here's. Ian Sams who is comma harris' former communications hadn't prolific Tweeter. But he stays out. Is basically saying which I think is kind of probably what other campaign operatives are thinking now which is like. New Hampshire just became super important in their two weeks between New Hampshire and Nevada did about it it's become really important to let more so than when it. Nevada another state that has reputation clocked a have to pocket is okay but like Clinton OK that's if you're at if you're brief man. Let me give you this been for Bernie's maybe it is again to more important India in Iowa in less he won Iowa then. That Graham. All else being equal I mean it's you my most I'm now. Now you mean probably managers and expenses but we even eluded well it figures I think we've got kids we have we like. Preliminary data a small amounts of every entrance all we entrance polling we have are our view precincts reporting. According to we have we have on the. Inventory the data a case first of all we have are prior. Based on polls preelection polls where it's Sanders one Biden to and then more in and been attached tied for their basically. You have the entrance poll not an exit poll which showed. Sanders and but it it's 1 AM when B. In Biden and worn clothes. You have. About 2% or results for the AP. Where. It looked like it's Biden is doing poorly and then some combination. Sanders really to Jim warmer doing well. You have anecdotal accounts are lots of people tweeting these results were anecdotally. The conventional wisdom was that. Biden had done poorly in some combination of everyone else had done well that seem like you know so C take all that data and you have the data pointed. Biden's campaign clearly not being excited about the results and you have Lucic. Kind of declaring. Victory and I don't know if you mean you can probably go to the steepest Scottish teams right now predicted and see what the prediction market say right I mean if I had to like. Price and at this moment it might be. I don't know might be you know. We've we've now got Iowa democratic county chairs. Tagging reporters in like. Its spreadsheets and in the hope of tabulation I guess. Basically using proudly source Chrysler side precinct data that has not all of an aggregated where it was supposed ago. To get some sort of sense of how the candidates did. Through the work of journalists no joke like. It's probably 5050 that that is finished and pretty accurate before I Democrat and weld do I mean remember like. If account is done random. And biased rate your source Sutter Twitter. And I think you can have Fenton Twitter it's more and it's it's a warrant. Some certainly loyal Sanders fans. Nominee Biden fans right so that's not going to be necessarily like it and accurate count can talk about but it does. Because the data we have the need him Torre. First first votes. It's not much right like them item a lot of it I think a lot of people's impressions are coming from entrance polls which are basically exit polls. Remember well off exit polls and they. But let's just pretend for a second that booted judge did win Iowa by a couple points as he's climb right. I think according to our forecast he would have came out of Iowa not as the favorite but like okay now in that popped here is that right now. I mean depending then scenario like one scenario would be like. Mitt due to church. Burned me. Biden. Any contested convention would Al kind of be equal and then depending on where war inflation and make she might be alive still according to the. Model forecast that we art he ran this evening debt. Spat out kind of the odds that what did you to recover winning the nomination if he had an either narrower medium win in Iowa it would be between fifteen and twenty. And it went in Arabic back to finish the second rapidly narrow but it to win. That pigeons Biden's often second right but I mean you can go down other scenarios and the like but that's that's one of the nest year scenarios but but. So let's just run up for once Acton. If that is the scenario that unfolded. This I think there's a big chance here. That this chaos has essentially nullified after booted charge and other words. We judge might have gotten at the outset that sort of could have propelled them maybe not the nomination but adds into the top here for the rest of the campaign or perpich stretch of and and now let us now maybe doesn't get it because New Hampshire is right around the corner why would need. Because we we bull we might not know the winner by the time New Hampshire comes around here even if we do people are going to be. Undermining I mean it's also we. Ready can I ask a question about like. I mean its op pretty obvious to me that the the ages campaign has has like. Taken a gamble and said yeah well there's a vacuum we're gonna fill the space currency we won. I mean. Laura from who's on our R&R brawler from our from our. Why Bob is saying that CNN is still broadcasting the judges speech I mean let's let's Harken back to 2016 and Eric and the earned media Donald Trump I mean. You know it's not nothing I just I mean I'm sort of curious whether or not voters will. Will buy this kind of like. Cook clean though it later Victor let but I think he has to take a big gamble here because I what's the metaphor it's like. It's like you're waiting all your life for your big parade. And then you finally get your chance and something something and at Tokyo right it's like you want to move back to Indiana it yet. I so it was like at that when when it's really into that blow up. At the US open right you wait your lucky be her parents where it she becomes like the lead story is already remarkable without him out of I mean like like yeah I don't blame them. He better be right there better be lucky if he's isn't winning one of these three counts that we may eventually get then that would look bad right. Three chances right in some who benefits from these obscure rules actually. I mean. Maybe when fear I have is like. If you're hearing this nastiness. There are always things between people are very excited about everything everything moves in real time. You know what Syria could be that maybe. Pete gets a little bit out of bounds but Biden's it isn't heard is marcher I don't know. I don't because they have some excuses now if you're Biden are some who underperformed. Where hope. Gonna get results at some point and then we're gonna record and podcast talking about the effects of so let's not get tutored wayward. Possible. Narratives and possible result let's and on this because it is getting late and were probably. A part sometimes you. Big picture what does this all mean for the hegemony of Iowa it's first and I think it's done I mean this is like. I think it's done with with I mean maybe you can like have a primary. Well it's and Britain are New Hampshire because every other islamists as they have to go first. After the first and I think very rare state. So. I mean. Doesn't look and this is already after months of commentators and even the candidates themselves. Railing against I was position as first in the nation to not only are people trying to believe that it's not fair that I have regrets first. But now can't even fulfill that responsibility. Let me get let me give one civilian in it credible way right. Let me give I was this case scenario. I was this case scenario is that. The Democrat wins. The other general election November. Is not under any significant. Primary challenger tweet tweet for Republicans are fine with the Iowa caucus because it's time now we have reason they're fine with it you know care about. I have a diverse development process for political Obama plus on prop truck chump one by the way the cover while living artists tonight that was undisputed good job I would UP although they have they're a mess with Romney and Santorum. And so then and then eight years from now that the anger is off Democrats on election anyway it's a turn out to work out fine and then I don't know right now like. But like other wise men it's like this is like. I mean I cannot remember any night. While in American electoral history like clothes ever nights when like but like. Things were very slow the closest thing though and it's it's probably Romney sent to arm right. Where it was a mess that necklace of hanging Chad can give context Europe and so Romney Santorum super close race in 2012 right. On I believe on caucus night the Iowa GOP declares Romney the winner right. About three weeks later or something like that. And they come out that all actually Romney you don't win by I think with eight votes with the initial report actually sent home run by 22 votes right. And so. It actually. We have at the time our remember thinking. I'm keeping people making a big the audit that's the Iowa about this like. Let's staple of advocate of the primary campaign it's built into our model and Santorum it's totally denied. His balance because it is it's a by Mary type thing. To some extent like you know winning counts for a lot in in the primary does matter Q1 bite. It matters but not you know it doesn't matter as much as make it should come by one voter or billion. So an answer out of name Clara and hear of any predictions for the the last straw. Hop for. Thing. We'll face that mister helpful at all live those live expressed their reach Galen. Wait. Now like. Another team like. The tradition tradition people old habits. Inertia inertia is Arafat. And amp Saturn this this is. This is in the mean misses too so poorly administered. Yeah because I don't think that's fair to fla. Mike because like. Perrier hanging chads there is some degree of ambiguity. In vote counting if you get to erase boards with him all point 03% you can't it significant C. The ugly underbelly of there's ambiguity around his human error right. I read zero. We have the secure Coke I percent. Of the vote counted it's 12:44 the morning. Zero counter what is I'll say I don't think. This this wasn't in the model partner Hartmann. It also let and one of yen and 889 scenarios coming out of Iowa so job. The hope. I would be huddle sometimes times out the elect air district character are you going to your. Slurping your whatever with the I'm really an artist moderate begun to get back in Indian rights and human Aaron he's continued. I'm saying something and warriors to. Things I would not compare this to Florida. In 2000. Because. This is an epic up. But it is nowhere near on the scale of bit of a Florida and it out again that was just like. Activist Supreme Court yet and it was. Litter it was like the general election not the primary. Again I think this could have a material effect on the democratic nominee is. But like Florida in 2000. You know I was at the end of the race and and clearly had a material. Will this be the last time I logos first in the democratic primary if I had a bet right now I'd say yes. But I think it's like 6040 something I inertia that's cliffs that is as powerful. Well I minute tape as Auburn but it sent plug primaries projects I believe that at the end of the third episode we talk about. What could spark reform. In the process and act and and actually failure failure as what sponsor reform process these so. We will you know of course if a Democrat wins at the end of point when he needed it C and its failure and I roll hold onto its position. But this could be seen as an opportunity for system reform for people who think. The Democratic Party silver lining a halt as silverlight air Galen I was. What happens over the next twelve hours I think hooded. Really swing this one Myers rather like if in twelve hours. It's all cleaned up what seems unlikely now but who knows then you know. I think this is remembered differently than it that they. A week that the sort out our longer well as always. Now and will be back when we have more news more to report. Guys would appease the east. When nine. People are tweeting out to the point and my time needle. It was before needles it does make all that done it may make on this Barrett thank you name. Thank you think you crier. Thank you Mike your thinking they come. Out its act thank you an account thanks Obama. Its host let's have it cut back on in this leave for extra chairs for the we're getting Stevie. Is that part of and then it also I have been requested as they think you might think you're locked away. Vanessa DNR college requested that I give a shadow of the properties storage and Lola tickets went on there yet. The store is up and functioning I don't know what's up live you know. Whatever I would Democrats entering are out works I thirty dot com slash store and and successfully buyers rag. Anyway my name is being entering turn each now is in the control room can get in touch by emailing us podcast pretty calm. Of course greeted us with questions or comments. Here the show beavis and rating review in apple podcasts or or tell someone about us thanks for listening and rules.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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