The Iowa Caucuses: Confusion, Frustration, and No Clear Winner

Live footage of us last night/this morning waiting for Iowa caucus results.

If you stayed up late in hopes of seeing who would be declared the winner in the Iowas caucuses, we’re yawning with you in solidarity. As of early this morning, there’s no clear winner and no clear indication about how big of a factor climate change had played in the electoral event.

The Washington Post summed up the chaos pretty well,

“The long-anticipated Iowa caucuses turned into a debacle Monday night when technical problems delayed the results, prompting presidential candidates to depart before the outcome was clear, spurring one campaign to challenge the integrity of the process and producing a muddled situation instead of what Democratic leaders hoped would be a decisive beginning to their attempt to oust President Trump.”

What’s Going On: As the Hill reported, after mounting speculation, the Iowa state party released a statement saying that a change in the way the outcome will be reported had sowed some confusion and that no results would be reported until the “inconsistencies” were cleared up. Additionally, the app tasked with delivering the results of the Iowa caucus crashed, leading to more uncertainty.

Why This Matters: Although there is a lot of criticism that Iowa is too small and too rural to speak for the rest of the nation, it’s still an important victory for presidential candidates. As the LA Times explained, “In the last seven contested races for the Democratic nomination, five candidates went on to become the Democratic nominee after winning Iowa.” That means that the climate agenda of the winner in Iowa could likely shape the 2020 climate conversation.

Additionally, Iowa’s presidential caucuses were expected to draw record turnout last night, but early data from the NBC News entrance poll show a big dip in participants attending a Democratic caucus for the first time. That figure could change once the  Iowa Democratic Party releases its full data but considering how big of an issue climate change is for likely Iowa Democrats, it could be a bad sign that folks sat this one out.

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