We’re waiting for the first results in the Iowa Democratic caucuses, after more than a year of campaigning. At 8 p.m. Eastern, Democrats in Iowa began to gather in rooms across the state and stand in groups to signal their support for the candidates hoping to face President Trump in November, the first to cast their votes in the Democratic nomination process.

The candidates included senators who were kept in Washington for part of the past week by the impeachment trial: Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Elizabeth Warren (Mass), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) and Michael F. Bennet (Colo.). Also competing for Iowa are former vice president Joe Biden; former South Bend, Ind., mayor Pete Buttigieg; entrepreneur Andrew Yang; and investor Tom Steyer.

February 3, 2020 at 11:58 PM EST
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In call with campaigns, Iowa state party officials struggle to explain why results are delayed

By Jacqueline Alemany and Sean Sullivan

In a call with the campaigns earlier this evening, the Iowa Democratic Party struggled to explain why Iowa caucus results have not been released. According to two sources with information about the call, the party would not say why it was not releasing any information, and struggled to explain what issues had caused the considerable delay.

According to sources, the party said that 35 percent of precincts had successfully reported their numbers to the state party. In earlier statements, state party officials said they were working to confirm precinct results. On the call with campaigns, they would not say whether it had verified even one precinct.

“It’s just a total mess and no timeline for when it becomes clearer,” a source affiliated with one campaign said.

On the call, when campaign aides pressed for a release time on the results, the IDP hung up.

February 3, 2020 at 11:34 PM EST
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Sanders says he’s confident results will be released ‘at some point’

By Sean Sullivan

DES MOINES — Sanders took the stage at his watch party and sounded a confident note, though he stopped short of declaring victory.
“I have a feeling that at some point, the results will be announced,” he said. And when they are, Sanders said, he had a “a good feeling we’re going to be doing very, very well.”
Then, Sanders launched into an abbreviated version of his stump speech.

February 3, 2020 at 11:34 PM EST
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‘Inconsistencies’ in reporting leading to delay, Iowa Democrats say

By Amy B Wang

“Inconsistencies” in reporting three sets of results has led to a lack of official numbers from the Iowa Democratic party, more than three hours after Iowans started caucusing, officials said.

Party leaders were supposed to report three sets of results from precincts Monday night: the original number of people who had aligned for a candidate, the numbers for each candidate upon realignment and the number of delegates awarded to each candidate.

“We found inconsistencies in the reporting of three sets of results,” Iowa Democratic party spokeswoman Mandy McClure said in a statement. “In addition to the tech systems being used to tabulate results, we are also using photos of results and a paper trail to validate that all results match and ensure that we have confidence and accuracy in the numbers we report.”

McClure also tried to tamp down fears that a new app used to report results had been hacked.

“This is simply a reporting issue, the app did not go down and this is not a hack or an intrusion,” McClure said. “The underlying data and paper trail is sound and will simply take time to further report the results.”

However, that was at odds with some reports that officials were having trouble reporting official numbers through the app.

“The app just straight up wasn’t working,” Shawn Sebastian, the caucus secretary for Story County Precinct 1-1, told The Washington Post. He later spent more than an hour on hold trying to report his precinct results.

February 3, 2020 at 11:28 PM EST
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Klobuchar addresses delays with supporters

By David Weigel

Klobuchar addressed her supporters at the Des Moines Marriott Downtown, telling them that she’d be earned her place in the next primaries even though she didn’t yet know the results of the Iowa caucus.

“We know there’s delays, but we know one thing — we are punching above our weight,” said Klobuchar, who was trailing the top four Democratic candidates but had moved up in the race’s final weeks. “Somehow, someway, I’m going to get on a plane to New Hampshire.”

Klobuchar noted that she’s been “bolted” to her desk during the “well-deserved impeachment” trial of the president, and pitched herself as a unifying candidate who wouldn’t try to “out-divide the divider in chief,” on the way to beating him.

“Donald Trump’s worst nightmare is that our fired up Democrats alongside a coalition of independents and fed up Republicans,” Klobuchar said. “I have a playbook that’s three words: Unite and lead.”

Klobuchar’s supporters, many wearing new shirts that read “Amy Klobuchar Will Defeat Donald Trump,” swapped stories about caucuses where they’d help the senator earn viability. But there was plenty of frustration about what had happened to the vote count.

“Iowa is the Broward County of caucuses,” joked Max Steele, a Klobuchar spokesman who’d previously worked for the Florida Democratic Party.

February 3, 2020 at 11:19 PM EST
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Campaigns also await results

By Annie Linskey and Chelsea Janes

DES MOINES — Warren volunteers, staff and friends gathered here, eagerly waiting for results while munching on turkey wraps and tomato toast with melted cheese at her caucus night party.

“I cried all day today,” said Mary Horsman, 59, a Warren supporter who hosted an event for the campaign earlier at her Des Moines home. Her voice cracked as she explained how she’s going to miss the Warren campaign staff who’ve been camped out.

“Of course I want my girl to win,” she said. “It’s about getting together. We’re rebuilding a party.”

Another supporter came in fresh from a caucus site in West Des Moines filled with enthusiasm. “I feel like we’re doing good,” said Elizabeth Lindquist, who has been coming to Iowa from her home in Illinois to knock doors for Warren. She said she was “shocked” that Biden was not viable at her caucus site – and pleased that 10 Iowans moved from his corner to Warren’s.

Attendees at Buttigieg’s watch party had only just begun to fill the room when news of the delay began emerging on the projection screen set up there. No one seemed too preoccupied, seemingly focused more on ensuring their voices were heard on television when CNN cameras flipped to their site.

As everyone waited for results, a Buttigieg aide suggested reasons for optimism: The campaign’s precinct leaders had reported viability in an overwhelming majority of rural counties and in Obama/Trump precincts.

But the delay had more implications for the Buttigieg campaign than just prolonging its suspense: Buttigieg has seven stops planned in New Hampshire on Tuesday, including one at 7 a.m. Eastern.

February 3, 2020 at 11:14 PM EST
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Some precincts seemed to be having issues reporting their results

By Holly Bailey and Amy B Wang

In Dubuque, results for one precinct were delayed for more than an hour because caucus officials were having trouble reporting official numbers through the app they were supposed to use. The problems began with the first alignment, when they kept getting an error while trying to send numbers.

Shawn Sebastian, the caucus secretary for Story County Precinct 1-1, tweeted late Monday that he had been on hold for over an hour trying to report results from his precinct to the party hotline.”The app just straight up wasn’t working,” Sebastian told The Washington Post.

February 3, 2020 at 11:02 PM EST
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Trump officials suggest, without evidence, the results delay is a sign the vote is ‘rigged’ against Sanders

By Michelle Ye Hee Lee

As word spread that caucus results were being delayed due to “quality checks” by Democratic Party officials, Republicans suggested, with no evidence, that the contest was “rigged” against Sanders.

Trump campaign officials and the pro-Trump super PAC America First Action tweeted on Monday night, with no proof, that Democratic Party officials were purposefully withholding the results to hurt Sanders’s chances.

“Quality control = rigged?” tweeted Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale.

“JUST IN: The DNC rigged the primary for Hillary Clinton again,” America First super PAC tweeted.

Twitter did not respond to a request for comment on whether the tweets violated its policies.

February 3, 2020 at 10:43 PM EST
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Quality control checks delay caucus results, Iowa Democrats say

By Amy B Wang

Nearly three hours after Iowans began caucusing, there are still no official results from the Iowa Democratic Party.

“We have experienced a delay in the results due to quality checks and the fact that the IDP is reporting out three data sets for the first time. What we know right now is that around 25% of precincts have reported, and early data indicates turnout is on pace for 2016,” Iowa Democratic Party spokeswoman Mandy McClure said in a statement.

Before Monday, Iowa Democratic party leaders were predicting record turnout, owing to high interest, a still-large field of candidates and favorable weather.

It was unclear how much new technology factored into the delay. Earlier Monday, there were reports some precinct chairs were struggling to use a new app to send results to the state party. Precinct chairs can still report results the traditional way, using a hotline.

February 3, 2020 at 10:33 PM EST
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At one precinct, Biden, Yang and Klobuchar supporters band together — for Cory Booker

By Dan Zak and Amy B Wang

DES MOINES — Just because your preferred candidate has dropped out of the race doesn’t mean you can’t caucus for him or her.

Case in point: At one precinct at Drake University, only Warren, Buttigieg and Sanders were viable after the first alignment.

So those who had lined up for Biden (17 people), Klobuchar (24) and Yang (35) began discussing what to do next. In the end, they decided to build a coalition for Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), who ended his campaign last month.

Four women there for Booker, who had initially lined up in the “other” camp, seemed thrilled at the prospect.

Before long, the four separate groups merged together, suddenly pushing Booker past the viability threshold of 61 people. Whooping and chants of “Cory! Cory! Cory!” broke out. Those who had gathered on one side of the room for Warren observed the spectacle quietly.

February 3, 2020 at 10:27 PM EST
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At Biden’s watch party, supporters say it’s important that Democrats unify

By Cleve R. Wootson Jr.

DES MOINES — About 50 people trickled into Biden’s watch party when doors opened at 8:30 p.m., a combination of political tourists, Biden supporters and those who’d just caucused for the former vice president nearby.

One supporter, Adam Selzer, said it’s important Democrats put their egos aside and unify behind whoever can beat Trump.

“I don’t know if Biden makes it to the end,” Selzer said. Whatever happens, he’ll support the nominee.

“The prevailing message is that whoever doesn’t make it gets behind the favorite, even if it’s begrudgingly,” he said. “If it starts going South, I’d support Bernie, even though he’s not one of my favorites.”

Selzer’s son Rich echoed his father’s sentiments, although he worried that Sanders’s supporters wouldn’t reciprocate. “I’ll support Bernie if I have to, but it’s not because of his supporters,” he said. “I’ve never had a Biden or Warren [supporter] call me names on Twitter.”

February 3, 2020 at 10:02 PM EST
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Buttigieg advisers gather for a party, pop into a caucus to see how it’s going

By Chelsea Janes

DES MOINES — Just around 8 p.m., Buttigieg’s advisers were gathering for a watch party at a Drake University gym. But they couldn’t help but poke their heads into the Knapp Center next door, where 849 people were caucusing.

Political director Stephen Brokaw ambled in to watch quietly as Buttigieg was declared viable with 172 caucus-goers on the first alignment. Only Warren has earned more.

Buttigieg had the most vocal contingent in that caucus, as many out-of-staters who had come to volunteer for him packed the observers’ section to cheer on their precinct leaders on. Many of those supporters would eventually head for the watch party.

But like his advisers, they couldn’t tear their eyes way from the machinations of Precinct 62.

By 9 o’clock, attendance at Buttigieg’s party was still sparse, limited to a few dozen people, as many supporters finished their own caucuses elsewhere. Buttigieg waited for results in the Des Moines Marriott, with friends and family.

February 3, 2020 at 9:54 PM EST
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Trump’s challengers make their case to uninterested voters

By David Weigel

There was not much suspense about President Trump’s chances tonight. Even so, his two challengers made their case to Iowa voters.

Both former Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh and former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld came to Iowa to make converts in person. Both spoke at a caucus in Ankeny, a suburb of Des Moines, where they took very different approaches. Weld talked about his political record without mentioning Trump, while Walsh pitched himself as a real conservative and alternative to the president.

“I will make you a promise: I will be decent, and I won’t be cruel,” Walsh said. “I will be honest, and I won’t lie. If you want four more years of the Donald Trump…”

At that point, he was drowned out by applause for the president. “How’m I doing?” Walsh deadpanned.

Republicans, who do not have the same viability and realignment rules as Democrats, simply count heads at each caucus. Trump stayed around 97 percent support as votes rolled in, and between 90 and 95 percent in the state’s more liberal counties, like Johnson, Story, and Ames. That’s comparable to the results for Barack Obama in 2012, when he had no challengers of note in Iowa and got nearly 99 percent of the vote.

In a Sunday morning visit to a Des Moines diner, Weld pointed out that every modern president who faced primary challengers had retired or lost reelection: William Howard Taft, Jimmy Carter, Lyndon B. Johnson and George W. Bush. But on Monday night, Trump performed about as well as he would have if he’d had no opponents at all.

February 3, 2020 at 9:49 PM EST
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Polk County Democrats print tens of thousands of new voter registration forms

By Michelle Ye Hee Lee

In preparation for the Iowa caucuses Monday, Polk County Democrats printed tens of thousands of extra voter registration forms. But the Democratic chairman for that county, which encompasses the state capital of Des Moines, said they’re still running low.

“We printed tens of thousands of extra voter registration forms and some precincts are still running out. We’re making copies and deliveries to get them covered, but this Caucus is gonna be the big one,” the county Democratic chairman, Sean Bagniewski, tweeted about 40 minutes after the caucuses officially began.

Iowa Democratic party leaders predicted a record turnout Monday night, crediting high interest, a large field of candidates and favorable weather.

February 3, 2020 at 9:43 PM EST
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Sanders to skip State of the Union address, campaign in New Hampshire instead

By Amy B Wang

Sanders will skip Tuesday night’s State of the Union address, opting to campaign in New Hampshire instead, his campaign confirmed Monday.

Like many of the Democratic candidates, Sanders plans to fly directly to New Hampshire after the Iowa caucuses. He will host a rally in Milford, N.H., on Tuesday night, just before President Trump gives his annual address to a joint session of Congress.

According to his campaign, Sanders will deliver a response to Trump’s address from Manchester, N.H., at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Bennet, who spent Monday evening in New Hampshire, will return to Washington for the State of the Union, according to his campaign.

It is unclear whether Warren and Klobuchar plan to return to Washington for Trump’s address Tuesday evening. Warren’s campaign schedule includes a town hall in Keene, N.H., on Tuesday morning. Klobuchar’s schedule also puts her in New Hampshire on Tuesday, with campaign events in Concord, Portsmouth and Nashua.