What We Learned From The Chaos In Iowa

|
Posted: Feb 04, 2020 11:57 AM
What We Learned From The Chaos In Iowa
We have learned a half dozen things from the Iowa Caucus. Let's go over them point by point.


Who Won?

Sorry, that's not one of the things we learned.

I have no idea and apparently neither do those whose mission it is to count the votes. This is despite the fact that we should have known hours ago.

The Iowa Caucus tallies are in a total State of Confusion.

  • Richard Harpootlian, a former South Carolina Democratic chairman who volunteered for former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign in a suburban Des Moines precinct, called the caucuses “the most convoluted, distorting process I’ve ever been involved with.” “Our process ended almost an hour and a half ago. We all entered stuff on an app. So where’s the results? They’re just dragging it out,” Mr. Harpootlian said.
  • Some precinct chairs struggled to transmit caucus results, according to people familiar with the situation, both via a mobile app and by a backup telephone system.
  • There’s been some issues with the app,” said Kelcey Brackett, the chairman of the Muscatine County Democratic Party. “It’s working for some folks, not for others.”
  • “We weren’t set up for everyone to have to use the phone, it sounds like,” said Adin Mann. “I’m at home trying to get the paperwork organized all the way they want it. It’s scattered all over the room here."

You are at home? With the paperwork? Counting votes?

Nate Silver on Iowa


Key Lessons

  1. It's damn hard to calculate 15% of a number. That's the threshold for determining if a candidate won any delegates.
  2. It's so hard to calculate 15% that the Democrats needed to develop an app to do the calculation.
  3. The app was too hard to use. And bear in mind, one does have to punch in numbers correctly.
  4. It's hard to punch in the numbers correctly when the results are scattered all over the room.
  5. Of course there is another key issue. People have to know how to use a phone.
  6. Using a phone requires a mobile app and a backup telephone system. Now that might sound easy, but I can tell you from the results, that it isn't.

And what are the results?

I'm sorry I cannot tell you.

We need an app.