Technology Issues Delay Iowa Caucus Results. What Does This Mean For The Presidential Race?

Download Audio
Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren finishes her campaign event at West High School in Iowa City on Saturday. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren finishes her campaign event at West High School in Iowa City on Saturday. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Technology issues delay Iowa caucus results. We’re breaking down which candidates are likely to come out on top, and what this means for the rest of presidential primary season.


Clay Masters, lead political reporter at Iowa Public Radio. (@clay_masters)

Aisha Moodie-Mills, Democratic political strategist. Former executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus PAC, former regional finance director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and former political adviser to over a dozen members of Congress. (@AishaMoodMills)

Gavin Jackson, reporter and host of South Carolina ETV’s public affairs show "The Week in South Carolina" and the "South Carolina Lede" podcast. (@GavinJackson)

Jennifer Victor, associate professor of political science at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government. (@jennifernvictor)

James Pindell, political reporter for The Boston Globe covering the 2020 presidential campaigns. Political analyst for WBUR. (@JamesPindell)

From The Reading List

Des Moines Register: "'It was a total mess': Caucusing is long over, but Iowa still doesn't have a winner" — "For months, Iowa Democrats fretted that new rules would produce an excess of results on caucus night and complicate Democrats' claims to victory at this critical juncture in the presidential nominating contest.

"In the end, their problem was the opposite. Widespread reporting problems meant that no official results were available to campaigns, the press or the public as of 3 a.m. CST, leaving the field in a state of heightened uncertainty.

"Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Troy Price provided few answers, telling reporters on a middle-of-the-night press call that results would come at some point Tuesday. The call lasted less than two minutes."

The New York Times: "Everyone's a Winner in Iowa" — "Driving through the snowy cornfields of Iowa today, I couldn’t stop dreaming about next Tuesday, the day after the Iowa caucuses. After more than a year of campaign entrances and exits, debates and dance moves, we’ll finally get some real clarity about this crowded Democratic primary race.

"People will have voted! There will be winners! And losers! Or not. Dear readers, it’s time for a talk. I know we’ve spent an awful lot of time discussing the Iowa caucuses. But like a mom explaining how, exactly, your little sister got here, I might have been glossing over some of the details. Like, there could be multiple winners.

"I know, I know. Presidential campaigns aren’t peewee soccer. There are no participation trophies. But when it comes to this year’s Iowa caucuses, there might as well be. That’s because changes in the caucus rules intended to increase transparency will give us a lot more information — and there will be more opportunities for candidates to declare victory."

Time: "February Democratic Debates: When, Where and What to Know" — "Welcome to the stretch of primary season that somehow feels like both a marathon and a sprint. On Feb. 3, the Democratic presidential primary will hold its first nominating contest of the election cycle: the Iowa caucuses. It’ll kick off a season of primaries and caucuses, as the Democrats work their way toward their presidential pick. And with back-to-back primaries come back-to-back debates. That’s right, there will be three Democratic debates in the month of February.

"Why so many debates in the shortest, and often coldest, month of the year? Because The Democratic National Committee (DNC) plans to hold a debate in every early voting state. (The first of which was held in Iowa on Jan. 14.)

"The New Hampshire debate will be on Feb. 7, just a few days after the caucuses and before the New Hampshire primary. The debate — which is the eighth of the 2020 primary cycle — will take place in Manchester, N.H., and ABC, WMUR and Apple News will co-host at St. Anselm College. The following debates will be on Feb. 19 in Las Vegas and Feb. 25 in Charleston.

"Seven candidates have qualified for the New Hampshire Democratic debate so far, though the remaining candidates have until 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 6 to make it. The stage will include: former Vice President Joe Biden, former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, billionaire executive Tom Steyer, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and entrepreneur Andrew Yang."

This program aired on February 4, 2020.


Grace Tatter Producer, The Great Wager
Grace Tatter is an independent journalist and audio producer.


Meghna Chakrabarti Host, On Point
Meghna Chakrabarti is the host of On Point.



More from On Point

Listen Live