DES MOINES: President Donald Trump branded the Democratic Party’s chaotic effort in Iowa to begin choosing an election challenger as an “unmitigated disaster” on Tuesday after results in the state caucus were delayed indefinitely.
Hours after voters made their choices at 1,600 schools and other public locations, Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Troy Price told reporters to expect results sometime on Tuesday in the state, the first to hold a nominating contest.
The party said it had to make “quality checks” after finding “inconsistencies” in the reporting of the data from caucus sites, sparking frustration among Democrats and criticism from Republicans.
It was unclear when any results would be released.
Iowa voters met to render judgment on a field of 11 Democratic contenders led by front-runner Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and his rivals, former vice-president Joe Biden, former South Bend, Indiana, mayor Pete Buttigieg and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.
Party officials voiced confidence in their ability to ensure accurate results, citing a paper trail to validate the votes.
Trump called the Democratic caucus an “unmitigated disaster” in a tweet. “Nothing works, just like they ran the Country.” But Republicans in Iowa have their own history of chaos. On the night of the party’s 2012 caucuses, Mitt Romney was declared to have won by eight votes. But the party said two weeks later that Rick Santorum had won by a 34-vote margin. Romney went on to be the nominee.
DISMAY IN THE RANKS
Long lines and big crowds were reported in some locations on Monday, but more than ten hours after the doors closed there was no word on the outcome.
“Every second that passes undermines the process a little bit,” said Warren’s campaign manager Roger Lau. A source in Buttigieg’s campaign said the delay would “delegitimise” the win and dampen the immediate benefits of a strong night. Biden’s general counsel, Dana Remus, told state party officials in a letter there were widespread failures in the party’s system of reporting results. — Reuters