After 13 months of campaigning, the much anticipated “First in the Nation” 2020 Iowa caucuses came and went with no clear Democratic winner as of Tuesday morning.
The winner of the Republican caucus was President Donald Trump, who was anticipated to be the winner as he faced no significant opposition.
In Union County, the Democratic caucus winner was Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT), who will see 26 delegates from Union County attend the state convention July 13 in Des Moines.
Trailing close behind Sanders was former Southbend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who received 21 delegates. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) received 11 delegates, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) and former Vice President Joe Biden each received 10 delegates, and two for American entrepreneur Andrew Yang.
Union County Democrats party chairperson Tiffany Gale said 348 Democratic voters attended the county caucuses, which was in line with the turn out of the 2016 caucuses. The Union County Republican caucus saw 146 participants, who predominately supported Donald Trump, with only two people supporting alternate candidates. A total of 28 Republican delegates were selected to represent Union County at the state convention.
First time voters
Among first time voters who attended the Democratic caucuses at Creston Community High School in Union County —precincts 1,3,4 and 5 — Buttigieg appeared to have the most appeal.
Spencer Lane, 17, of Creston said he came out to caucus for Buttigieg because he believed he is the best candidate to go against Trump because of his ability to attract moderate voters from both the Republican and Democratic sides of the aisle.
“He’s a lot more moderate than any other Democratic candidates ... I think that’s an important thing to consider,” said Lane.
Lane said he had given consideration to Yang, who he considers to be “a very forward thinking guy,” which he believes the country needs.
Brenton Barber, 19, of Creston was also in support of “Mayor Pete” for similar reasons.
“I’ve been watching a lot of the ads that have been going around lately and Pete’s message has been very strong,” said Barber.
Barber said he had given all the leading candidates consideration, but ultimately chose to caucus for Buttigieg because the candidate’s values were most in line with his own.
“What I liked about Pete’s message the most is that he has a background that is very similar to my own – he grew up in a small town and he has a strong desire to help people.”
Lauryn Christensen, 17, of Creston said Buttigieg best represents a younger generation of voters.
“I feel like we need younger people in office. I really like what he does for our military because I have family in the military. I really like how he feels toward women. He might not be a woman, but he will make sure we get our own rights as women,” Christensen said.
Christensen said she had given Warren and Yang consideration, but “Pete is the best.”
Jared Moreland, 18, of Creston arrived to the caucuses with the anticipation of caucusing for Yang, but when Yang failed to become viable among voters in Precinct 3, he realigned with Biden.
“I feel like [Yang] talks about stuff that needs to be talked about like technology fear. All of the other candidates are just very controversial and he just keeps a low profile,” said Moreland.
Moreland said he liked that Yang doesn’t spend his time bashing Trump, but rather spends his time seeking to understand the issues that got Trump elected in the first place.
“Biden likes Andrew Yang. I just don’t really like any of the other candidates,” said Moreland.
Jordan Peckham, 17, of Creston said Buttigieg shares his same core values and supports his effort to close the political divide.
“I think it’s important to have a president that has morals you can stand by and that represents the young generation and their progressive ideas,” Peckham said.
Peckham agrees with Lane in that Buttigieg has the ability to attract moderate voters from both sides of the political aisle.
“I think it’s important not to be caught up in being too left or right. You have to use your judgment in certain circumstances,” Peckham said. “He has the perspective to represent a lot of different people.”
Tristen DeVore, 19, of Creston said he caucused for Buttigieg because of his military experience and views on social issues such as gay marriage.
“He’s an interesting candidate … he has ideas that I support,” said DeVore.
At Southwestern Community College, Democratic precinct 2 first-time caucusers favored Sanders. Julia Hansen said she had gone back and forth between Sanders and Warren, but as the caucus began she was firmly in Sanders’ camp.
First time caucus attendee Kaytlynn Schehl came into the caucus uncommitted.
“I’m happy with any of them that’s why it’s hard to decide,” she said.
She said she was deciding between Buttigieg and Sanders, saying Buttigieg is outspoken and she agrees with his views on health care and immigration and Sanders on the economy and health care.
“I have mental illnesses that are never covered under health insurance,” she said as her reason for health care being one of her top issues in this election.
Schehl chose Sanders by the end of the event.
No clear winner
A smartphone app tasked with reporting the results of the Iowa caucus has crashed and created “inconsistencies,” delaying the result of the first major count in nominating a Democratic candidate to run for the U.S. presidency. As of the Creston News Advertiser’s 11 a.m. print time, Democratic party officials in Iowa have yet to report any results.
The result of the Iowa caucus was due to be transmitted by smartphone apps from delegates across the state on Monday, but a “quality control” issue was detected shortly before the result was expected.
“We found inconsistencies in the reporting of three sets of results,” said Mandy McClure, a spokesperson for the Iowa Democratic Party, in a statement posted on Twitter. “In addition to the tech systems being used to tabulate results, we are also using photos of results and a paper trail to value that all results match and ensure that we have confidence and accuracy in the numbers we report.”
McClure said the delay is not a result of a cyber hack or intrusion. She said the underlying data and paper trail is sound and will take time to further report the results, which may not be called before the end of day Tuesday.