Audit confirms Bernie lost Iowa (again)

There is consternation on the alt-left this weekend, bellyaching about reports of an audit commissioned by the Iowa Democratic Party of Iowa's 2020 caucuses finding that reporting requirements imposed by the Democratic National Committee (DNC), along with the Iowa Democratic Party's own lax training, slowed the reporting of the caucus results.

Like Donald Trump's MAGA cultists, Bernie Sanders's rosebud socialists are incapable of distinguishing between reporting delays and actual alteration of election results, however, and the Iowa story has people like Glenn Greenwald and Susan Sarandon playing the alt-left's Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis, respectively, claiming that the DNC intervened to steal the caucuses from Bernie Sanders. The audit, of course, finds nothing of the sort.

The audit did find something that should surprise no one - participation rates were hurt because of the undemocratic nature of caucuses. As part of the reforms instituted by both Clinton and Sanders camps after the 2016 primaries, multiple states jettisoned their day-long caucuses in favor of secret ballot primary elections, but Iowa, a 97% white state obsessed with going first, did not. New Hampshire, another predominantly white state, insisted on retaining its spot as the first-in-the-nation primary status, locking Iowa out of processes similar to primary voting.

What the audit did not find - which if it had would be a front-page scandal everywhere - is that the system and technology issues that delayed quick reporting of the results actually altered any of the results. Instead, the audit's finding highlighted these areas as the predominant causes of the reporting delay:

  1. The software used by the IDP to calculate state-delegate-equivalents (SDEs) used an incompatible database format than the one used by the DNC's reporting system. SDEs are what determines who wins the caucuses.
  2. The raw number reporting requirement, in which the state party was required to report the raw first preference and subsequent preference numbers (as candidates were eliminated at a given caucus location for not meeting threshold) imposed by the DNC, as well as insufficient coordination, necessitated these compatibility issues.
  3. Precinct chairs were unprepared to use IDP's reporting app due to a lack of training. Just 400 precinct chairs had downloaded and accessed the app before the caucuses.
  4. The IDP call centers were overwhelmed as the systems updated ever so slowly.

It is of course item 2 in the list that is causing the most bellyaching from the Bernie Sanders acolytes. By putting in place these redundant requirements that the state report the raw figures and not just the final state-delegate-equivalent totals, DNC complicated the process and screwed Bernie Sanders. That is their claim, anyway.

But the raw number reporting requirements were new in 2020. How did the additional reporting requirement come to play? It was a requirement that was added after the 2016 primary by none other than Bernie Sanders's representatives to the reform commission. Bernie Sanders and his 2020 campaign were so happy about that change that, in fact, that they went around gloating about it just days before the Iowa caucuses. It was Bernie Sanders's demand that caused the chaos his supporters are now using as a smokescreen to excuse the inadequacies of their own preferred candidate.

The fact remains that Bernie Sanders lost Iowa. The fact remains that Pete Buttigieg made history by being the first openly gay candidate ever to win a state during a major party's presidential nominating process.

And the fact remains, hilariously, this: