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Iowa caucus live updates: Buttigieg, Sanders reach virtual tie with 100 percent of results released

The first-in-the-nation voting state was thrown into disarray late Monday after the Iowa Democratic Party delayed releasing results.

The Iowa Democratic Party announced the release of 100 percent of the state caucus results Thursday night, showing Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders neck and neck in their lead over the rest of the Democratic candidates. The results could change as more data is examined, and NBC has not called a winner in the race.

The Iowa Democrats' announcement comes after Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez called on state party officials to recanvass the results of Monday's caucuses amid growing concerns about their accuracy (see NBC News' review of the results).

Caucusgoers gathered at nearly 1,700 sites across Iowa on Monday night to tally support for their preferred candidates only for the count to be thrown into disarray when what Iowa Democrats called "inconsistencies" delayed the reporting of results.

The state has 41 pledged delegates up for grabs, and the high-stakes contest traditionally plays a major role in determining who is a legitimate contender in the race. Candidates in the crowded Democratic field needed to meet a threshold of support (at least 15 percent of attendees at most caucus sites) to become viable, or they saw supporters move on to someone else.

Highlights from the Iowa caucuses

Download the NBC News app for full coverage and alerts on the latest news.

Iowa Democrats release partial caucus results

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883d ago / 10:12 PM UTC

The Iowa Democratic Party on Tuesday released partial results from Monday night’s caucuses after a lengthy delay caused by a “coding issue” with an app used to report the data.

The partial results, which are from each of the state’s 99 counties but are inconclusive, show Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders at the front of the pack, although those positions may not hold when all the votes are eventually counted. The results also show former Vice President Joe Biden, the national front-runner, trailing the Iowa leaders. 

The data release comes after a storm of criticism from the campaigns about how the party conducted the caucus process.

Read the story.

Bennet campaign, in memo to supporters, seeks to 'capitalize on the chaos'

883d ago / 9:53 PM UTC

Sen. Michael Bennet’s presidential campaign manager Daniel Barash is releasing a memo to supporters on the campaign’s goal to exceed expectations and surge in the New Hampshire primary Feb. 11.

“While chaos emerged in Iowa last night, Michael was in New Hampshire holding a town hall and talking to voters,” Barash writes. “It goes without saying, the events of last night validated our New Hampshire-first  approach.”

The memo details “strategic goals” to increase awareness of the campaign, build momentum, and “capitalize on the chaos in Iowa,” saying they need more resources and capacity to do it all.

“The number one way to ensure more voters learn about Michael and his vision for the country is through paid advertising,” Barash writes before soliciting contributions from supporters.

883d ago / 9:40 PM UTC

Disarray in Iowa raises N.H. stakes and reshapes Democratic contest

883d ago / 9:35 PM UTC

A lingering fog of uncertainty over the results of the year's first presidential nominating contest raised the stakes for the Democratic contenders as they descended on the Granite State ahead of the second.

The chaos seemed poised to deny the strongest Iowa finishers at least a share of potential momentum — and provide at least a temporary respite for underperformers.

As some declared victory in Iowa hours before the announcement of any vote counts, national Democratic front-runner Joe Biden's campaign preemptively questioned the integrity of the results — highlighting the risk the outcome in Iowa may pose to the former vice president's carefully-cultivated "electability" advantage ahead of New Hampshire's Feb. 11 primary.

Pete Buttigieg and his campaign continued to claim victory Tuesday, long before any results were due for public release. 

Sen. Bernie Sanders' campaign released internal caucus results based on data from 60 percent of Iowa precincts, ahead of Buttigieg and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, with Biden in a distant fourth place — but sounded less thrilled with the outcome than Buttigieg.

Meanwhile, Warren, D-Mass., told voters at a town hall in Keene, New Hampshire, on Tuesday morning that she was in "a tight three-way race at the top" with Sanders and Buttigieg.

Read the story.

883d ago / 9:17 PM UTC

Biden 'happy' to head to New Hampshire

883d ago / 9:15 PM UTC

Hours after arriving in the first-in-the-nation primary state, former Vice President Joe Biden sounded relieved to be out of Iowa amid the uncertainty of the caucus results.

“Folks, it really is, and I really mean it, you have no idea how happy we were to be heading to New Hampshire and Nashua,” Biden said in between laughs.

Although he joked about how quickly he got out of Iowa, Biden said he believed the campaign “had a good night” in the Hawkeye State. He told the roughly 150 people gathered in a Nashua gym that he believes the campaign will get a “fair share” of delegates even though he doesn’t “know precisely” how that breakdown would be.

Biden cautioned against drawing any final conclusions about the night and subtly spoke out against his opponents who immediately declared victory without results.

“But, you know, be careful what you say because it’s not done yet,” Biden said at the top of his remarks. “I'm not being critical. Let's give [the Iowa Democratic Party] time to work out those issues carefully and diligently because a lot depends on it.”

Sen. Kaine: Iowa situation a 'tragic set of mistakes'

883d ago / 9:12 PM UTC

Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, the 2016 Democratic vice presidential nominee, called the situation in Iowa "a tragic, tragic set of mistakes."

"I mean, I just, I feel for the voters, I feel for the volunteers, I feel for these candidates, I feel for everybody who spent all this time paying attention to it," he added. "I mean I just can't imagine what's happened. Now what can learn from it, you've got to get the answer to what went wrong before you jump to a conclusion about what to learn from it. But it's a disaster."

Warren, Klobuchar, Bloomberg campaign managers talk delay's impact

883d ago / 8:41 PM UTC

'Wake-up call': Iowa caucus disinformation serves as warning about 2020 election

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883d ago / 8:37 PM UTC

Tech companies and election officials spent the past three years working to address the vulnerabilities that allowed Russia to promote disinformation and sow political divisions ahead of the 2016 election.

On Tuesday night, though, it didn’t take foreign interference to highlight the persistent vulnerabilities around the 2020 election. Americans proved perfectly capable of spreading disinformation on their own.

“This might be a great wake-up call,” said Alex Stamos, the director of the Stanford Internet Observatory, former head of security at Facebook and an NBC cybersecurity analyst. “If it turns out that this disaster has very little long-term effect on the primary, it's a great demonstration of what could go wrong on election night.”

One day after Americans cast their first votes in the election cycle, conspiracy theories, delayed election results and political opportunism intermingled online to create what disinformation researchers warn could be a harbinger of a self-inflicted worst-case scenario for the 2020 election.

Read the story.

883d ago / 8:30 PM UTC

Ex-Obama campaign manager: 'Those that did poorly are not going to pay the price'

883d ago / 8:20 PM UTC

David Plouffe, a former campaign manager for Barack Obama's 2008 campaign, said Tuesday that the caucus results delay only adds to the questions about the Democratic process in Iowa, adding that the lack of results will affect the momentum of both the winning and losing candidates.

“I think there are already a lot of questions building about the caucuses," Plouffe told MSNBC. "Obviously  I have personal experience with the caucuses, I was an Iowa Democratic employee. I think there’s a lot of positives to them, but it’s hard to argue now because we've had cycle after cycle where there are issues.”

Plouffe added, “I don’t know how materially it  changes the race, but I do think those that did well in Iowa aren’t going to get the full measure, the momentum bounce, and Iowa's much more about momentum than delegates. And those that did poorly are not going to pay the price.”

 

Buttigieg still using v-word despite no official results

883d ago / 8:06 PM UTC

On the campaign trail Tuesday in New Hampshire, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg continued to use the v-word to describe his showing in Iowa on Monday — even though the Iowa Democratic Party won't be releasing any results for another couple of hours.

"We are still waiting on some math, but one thing we know is that we are arriving with the momentum in the 2020 presidential campaign right now, and we had a victorious night in Iowa that shocked the pundits and will compel us to victory."

On Monday, he was among several candidates to deliver victory-like speeches once it became clear the caucus results wouldn't materialize before the end of the night. The others included Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., entrepreneur Andrew Yang.

Caucus chaos sparks fresh calls for an end to Iowa's leadoff status

883d ago / 7:53 PM UTC

WASHINGTON — Iowa Democrats woke up Tuesday worrying that they might have been first for the last time.

The Iowa Democratic Party’s inability to declare a caucus winner Monday night added fresh fuel to calls from Democrats in other states for the order of the primary process to be reconsidered, potentially leaving the future of Iowa's coveted first-in-the-nation status in greater jeopardy than ever before.

Although toying with the idea of reordering the presidential nominating calendar is a perennial political tradition, the voices this cycle arguing to strip Iowa of its kickoff slot were already louder and more impassioned, saying that the honored position on the calendar should go to a more diverse state — and one that did not adhere to the caucus system.

The chaos that began Monday night appeared to give ammunition to those critics.

Read more here.

Pence's chief of staff: 'If Democrats fumbled the football, that's not Iowa's fault'

883d ago / 7:40 PM UTC

Company behind Iowa results app expresses 'regret' over glitches

883d ago / 7:28 PM UTC

Warren on Iowa Dems' plan to release more than half of data: 'I just don't understand what that means'

883d ago / 7:19 PM UTC

Responding to the Iowa Democratic Party's announcement that it plans to release "more than 50 percent" of the caucus results late Tuesday afternoon, Sen. Elizabeth Warren told NBC News "they ought to get it together and release all of the data."

"That's what we need," Warren, D-Mass., said. "They should get all of the data. We're doing what we can to help and are calling on the other campaigns to do the same."

"I just don't understand what that means to release half of the data.," Warren said.

Troy Price, the Iowa Democratic Party chairman, told the campaigns during a call on Tuesday that the party expects more than 50 percent of all results by 5 p.m. ET. Price gave no timeline on when full results would come, but assured the campaigns repeatedly that they “have a process in place.”

883d ago / 7:10 PM UTC

Bloomberg to double ad spending, expand staff

883d ago / 7:01 PM UTC

Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg's campaign is doubling its ad spending following Monday night’s Iowa caucuses, a campaign official confirms to NBC News.

The official also says the campaign will increase its staff to more than 2,000 people.

The ad spending will increase immediately, including more in places where they were already on the air and in additional media markets, a campaign officials said. 

"After more than a year of this primary, the field is as unsettled as ever," campaign spokeswoman Galia Slayen said. "No one has made the sale or even come close to it. Meanwhile, Mike is taking the fight to Trump every day, doubling down on the national campaign strategy we've been running from the beginning."

The New York Times first reported on the campaign's expansion.

Bloomberg's campaign has said it plans to keep going through the November election even if he doesn't win the Democratic nomination — a move that could mean an unprecedented level of personal spending for the candidate.

An eerie foreshadowing?

883d ago / 6:51 PM UTC

Sanders: 'Not a good night for democracy'

883d ago / 6:49 PM UTC

Before leaving Iowa for New Hampshire, Sen. Bernie Sanders expressed disappointment with the caucusing process, saying, "This is not a good night for democracy."

"We are not declaring victory," Sanders, I-Vt., told reporters aboard his campaign plane, an apparent swipe at former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who all but declared victory in a speech Monday night despite the lack of results, and other candidates who did similarly. "I don't know how anybody declares victory before you have an official statement as to the election results," Sanders said.

Asked about voter confidence, Sanders said, "This is not a good night for democracy. You know, if I’m a first time voter when I came out and I voted, and the results are not coming in for 16 hours, you know, it's a little bit disconcerting.”

Iowa TV ad spending over the past year: $68 million-plus

883d ago / 6:32 PM UTC

Capped crusaders: Trump campaign surrogates take to the skies after Iowa

883d ago / 6:21 PM UTC
Image: Trump campaign charter
Cabinet secretaries, including Ben Carson and Wilbur Ross, acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, Trump's eldest son Don Jr., and several lawmakers, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, on the Trump campaign charter.Courtesy of Tim Murtaugh

Klobuchar touts herself as 'a steady hand in chaos' after Iowa caucuses

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883d ago / 6:11 PM UTC

Sen. Amy Klobuchar on Tuesday kicked off her swing through New Hampshire with a reference to the lack of Iowa results, calling herself "a steady hand in chaos" and saying she feels "really good" about where the campaign is.

"What an amazing night we had last night!" Klobuchar, D-Minn., told supporters in Concord. "I'm someone that thrives in chaos. You want a steady hand in chaos, right? And so we got in last night to New Hampshire at something like 4 in the morning to an incredible group of volunteers. Are any of you still awake that were there? And that was just such a warm beginning to the week that we are going to spend here." 

Although the campaign is waiting for Iowa results, "I can tell you that we feel really good about where we are, and we won so many precincts and delegates that I don't think people gave us a chance to win," she said. "And it had this grassroots feeling that New Hampshire would be proud about."

 

883d ago / 6:01 PM UTC

Nevada Democrats won't use app that caused Iowa caucus fiasco

883d ago / 5:50 PM UTC

DES MOINES, Iowa — Nevada’s Democratic Party said Tuesday it will not use the trouble-plagued app used in Iowa’s Democratic caucuses that contributed to ongoing delays in the reporting of results here.

The app used in Iowa had been initially set to be used in the upcoming Nevada caucus on Feb. 22. The same company developed both the Iowa and Nevada Democratic party caucuses apps.

Nevada’s Democratic Party said it had previously created backup plans for its reporting systems and was in the process of “evaluating the best path forward.”

"NV Dems can confidently say that what happened in the Iowa caucus last night will not happen in Nevada on February 22nd. We will not be employing the same app or vendor used in the Iowa caucus,” Nevada State Democratic Party Chair William McCurdy II said in a statement.

“We had already developed a series of backups and redundant reporting systems, and are currently evaluating the best path forward,” he added.

Read more here.

Buttigieg campaign contracts with app-maker for text-messaging service, and so has Biden's

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883d ago / 5:46 PM UTC

A Buttigieg campaign official confirms that the campaign contracts with Shadow Inc., the tech company that built the app that failed Monday night in Iowa, for text-messaging service.

But the official says Buttigieg’s campaign does not contract with the company for apps, like the one used by the Iowa Democratic Party. The official says the campaign contracted with Shadow before the Iowa Democratic Party started working with them.

Buttigieg’s campaign isn’t the only one to contract with Shadow. Federal Election Commission records show the Biden campaign also has contracted with the company for text messages. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s campaign had also contracted with them for software and fundraising consulting, according to Federal Election Commission records. 

Iowa Democratic Party to release 'majority' of caucus results Tuesday afternoon

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883d ago / 5:45 PM UTC

The Iowa Democratic Party said Tuesday it plans to release the majority of the results from the Iowa caucus by 5 p.m. ET.

The news comes after a dizzying night of caucusing and a delay in releasing votes after the party said there were inconsistencies in the reporting of data due to a “coding issue” in an app the party used for the first time to calculate the results.

The delay in votes had frustrated the presidential candidates, who tried to rally their supporters despite the uncertainty as the election looks to the New Hampshire state primary.

Troy Price, the Iowa Democratic Party chairman told the campaigns on Tuesday during a call that the party expects more than 50 percent of all results by 5 p.m. ET. However, Price gave no timeline on when full results would come.

Read more here.

With Iowa results still unknown, Buttigieg pivots to New Hampshire

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883d ago / 5:40 PM UTC

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Pete Buttigieg pivoted his campaign's focus to New Hampshire on Tuesday, telling voters here that what's happening in Iowa makes their voice all the more important. 

The controversy engulfing the Iowa Democratic Party and still-unreleased results from that state's contests means that “now so much will depend on what the famously independent thinking state of New Hampshire decides one week from today," he said.

Image: Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate and former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg visits The Works Cafe with U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster (D-NH) in Concord
Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg visits The Works Cafe with Rep. Annie Kuster in Concord, N.H., on Jan. 17, 2020.Elizabeth Frantz / Reuters file

At a morning event here, Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, also touched on Iowa, again claiming at least a measure of victory.

“The hope that propelled me into this campaign is vindicated every day,” he said. “It was vindicated in a big way last night when we had a chance to quiet those questions of whether we belong in this effort in the first place.”

Despite the intimate crowd that turned out to see him Tuesday, not one question was asked by the audience about Monday night’s caucuses or the lack of results.

Addressing a packed room at the Rex Theater, Buttigieg presented a forward-looking message focused on the upcoming first-in-the-nation primary. He hailed the week ahead in New Hampshire as one that will lead to a historic moment. 

Buttigieg again emphasized that now is not the time for "my way or the highway" approaches to politics — though he didn’t single out any opponents by name. Buttigieg has made similar subtle jabs about the use of purity tests by the Democratic Party in the past. 

Asked about the deficit, Buttigieg highlighted his health care plan and made a veiled swipe at Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., criticizing some candidates for saying that voters "don't deserve an explanation on how much it's going to cost at all.”

“This is the way to make sure that we can get that big thing done, and do it without breaking the bank,” he said.

At one point during the question-and-answer period, a woman interjected with a story about trying to access services for her husband, a veteran, and someone coming to her home concerned that she was a “threat.”

Buttigieg responded that he doesn’t consider her a threat and that veterans deserve better.

Blumenthal: Iowa 'has outlived its usefulness' as first state to cast ballots

883d ago / 5:27 PM UTC

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said in an interview Tuesday on MSNBC that Iowa 'has outlived its usefulness as the first state to cast its ballots and shape the future of the nomination process."

Blumenthal added that he agrees with Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill, who said earlier Tuesday that the Democratic caucus "is a quirky, quaint tradition which should come to an end."

"I agree that it is a quaint process," Blumenthal said. "Caucuses may or may not reflect the will of the people. The use of an app, which was inaccessible, failed to download and upload and ultimately proved very possibly that the downfall here is only a symptom of a process that needs reform."

Durbin said Tuesday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that the Iowa caucus is "the most painful situation we currently face for voting."

"We’ve got to have a means for people to express themselves that is reliable," he said. "Unfortunately, the caucus system is not."

883d ago / 5:16 PM UTC

Warren says there's a 'tight 3-way race' in Iowa but she's 'feeling good'

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883d ago / 4:56 PM UTC

Warren spoke to supporters in New Hampshire on Tuesday and addressed the situation in Iowa.

“I’m not disappointed," she said. "We came out of Iowa knowing it’s a tight 3-way race at the top. Three of us. Buttigieg, Bernie and I will divide up most of the delegates in Iowa. That’s important to know.”

"I'm feeling good," she added.

Bloomberg skips Iowa and N.H. for Michigan, 'a state we have to win in November'

883d ago / 4:44 PM UTC

Yang: 'This race is a muddled mess,' but 'opportunity for us is growing'

883d ago / 4:36 PM UTC

McDaniel calls Iowa 'a debacle,' Cruz says it's 'nuts'

883d ago / 4:24 PM UTC

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, winner of the 2016 GOP Iowa caucuses, told "Fox and Friends" on Tuesday that the current confusion surrounding Monday's Democratic caucuses in Iowa "is nuts."

"You would be frustrated, you would be angry," Cruz said, speaking as to how a candidate would feel as a result of Monday's fallout. "These candidates have spent months, if not over a year, busting their rear ends. I mean, knocking on doors, you know, I feel bad really for the volunteers. I mean, going into an Iowa caucus, it is a labor intensive, you've got people — we had people in 2016 who moved up from Texas, and moved from states all over the country to go to Iowa and were out in the snow, knocking on doors."

On the Fox Business Network, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel called Trump "clearly the big winner" Monday.

"We had the highest turnout ever for an incumbent president," she said. "The energy on our side is so strong." 

McDaniel called the Democratic caucus count "a debacle" and insinuated without providing any evidence that Joe Biden's possible performance in the state might have something to do with it.

"I think that the party needs to figure out why all these inconsistencies in Iowa, especially when Joe Biden looked like he was going to have an abysmal, abysmal night last night."

The Iowa Democratic Party said early Tuesday that it would release the results of the Iowa caucuses after "manually verifying all precinct results."

Party Chair Troy Price said the party is "validating every piece of data we have against our paper trail. That system is taking longer than expected, but it's in place to ensure we are eventually able to report results with full confidence."

Biden campaign touts success in 3 Iowa counties

883d ago / 4:17 PM UTC

Biden's campaign is using last night's confusion to raise money as his campaign looks to the New Hampshire primary.

"If anything, last night reinforced our campaign's anti-malarkey stance. But it was just the beginning — and it's the start we need to power us into New Hampshire and beyond. Donate $20 now to help us keep it going," the campaign said in a text to supporters on Tuesday. 

Biden's campaign is also touting its success in three Iowa counties as we continue to wait for the full results of the Iowa caucus. 

The campaign's senior adviser, Symone Sanders, said in a series of tweets on Tuesday that the campaign exceeded expectations in Polk, Louisa, and Linn counties. 

Sanders backer AOC urges everyone to 'breathe'

883d ago / 4:12 PM UTC

883d ago / 3:59 PM UTC

Iowa Dems to address campaigns at 11 a.m. local time

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883d ago / 3:46 PM UTC

Iowa Democratic Party officials are holding a conference call with the representatives from campaigns this morning at 11 a.m. local time (12 p.m. ET), two senior campaign advisers in Iowa told NBC News.

Warren campaign says it will share internal data with Iowa Democratic Party

883d ago / 3:37 PM UTC

Warren's campaign said Tuesday it is providing its internal data to the Iowa Democratic Party as the results of Monday's caucuses have yet to be released. 

"Our campaign collected photos and other raw documentation of the results at hundreds of caucus locations as part of our internal reporting process," tweeted campaign manager Roger Lau. "Today we will provide what we have to the Iowa Democratic Party to help ensure the integrity of their process."

In a shot at Buttigieg, senior Warren strategist Joe Rospars tweeted: "Any campaign saying they won or putting out incomplete numbers is contributing to the chaos and misinformation."

'I gave up': Caucus officials previously expressed doubt about results app, emails show

883d ago / 3:27 PM UTC

Some precinct captains and caucus organizers also expressed doubt about the app in the days leading up to the caucuses. An email chain provided to NBC News showed that precinct captains and caucus organizers in the Iowa City area knew of problems with the reporting app as early as Monday morning. The email was shared on the condition that identities would be redacted.

“Nobody having trouble with the app should feel dumb!” one of the organizers wrote on Monday morning. “I am hearing way more problems than in 2016… Worst case, call it in, which I expect 90% of the state will be doing anyway.”

“I gave up on the app,” another precinct chair replied.

The app was the subject of scrutiny in the weeks before the caucus due in part to the lack of information around it. The Iowa Democratic Party did not reveal what company developed the app or make it available for independent security testing.

883d ago / 3:23 PM UTC

Deval Patrick takes shots at Biden and Buttigieg in post-Iowa statement

883d ago / 3:16 PM UTC

Deval Patrick, the former Massachusetts governor who has so far embarked on a little-noticed presidential campaign, took shots at Biden and Buttigieg in his post-Iowa caucuses statement.

"One candidate is calling the results into question because he apparently didn’t do well. Another is declaring victory without any votes being confirmed," Patrick said, without directly naming the candidates. "The way to beat Donald Trump isn’t to act like Donald Trump. Our party and our country deserve better."

Patrick was apparently referring to the Biden campaign releasing a statement railing against “considerable flaws in tonight’s Iowa caucus reporting system," and Buttigieg's claim of victory before any results were released.

Durbin: 'Quirky, quaint' Iowa caucus 'should come to an end'

883d ago / 2:58 PM UTC

Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Tuesday that he thinks "the Democratic caucus in Iowa is a quirky, quaint tradition, which should come to an end."

"As we try to make voting easier for people across America, the Iowa caucus is the most painful situation we currently face for voting," he said. "People who work all day, pick up the kids at day care, do you think they’re headed to the caucus next? Of course not. We’ve got to have a means for people to express themselves that is reliable. Unfortunately, the caucus system is not."

New Hampshire Dem party chair reassures voters ahead of primary: 'It’s simple. Go in, mark the ballot'

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883d ago / 2:48 PM UTC

As we wait for the results in the Iowa caucus, eyes are now on New Hampshire, which holds its primary next Tuesday. 

New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley told New Hampshire Public Radio on Tuesday that voters and campaigns should be confident in its process because the state uses paper ballots and holds frequent elections. Also, the secretary of state oversees elections in the state, not the party.

“I think it is impossible to hack, because it includes so many human beings and the fact that there’s the paper trail,” Buckley said of the voting process. 

Buckley added that there has never really been a question about how the New Hampshire primary elections are being conducted, and that they don’t have the scandals that occur in other states because “it’s simple. Go in, mark the ballot.”

“We’ve never had an issue with the New Hampshire primary,” he said, noting that it’s the 100th anniversary of the primary being first in the nation this cycle. “If there’s ever any issue, we can  do a recount.” 

Iowa Republicans defend first-in-the-nation status

883d ago / 2:43 PM UTC

Iowa Republicans are coming to the Democrats’ defense.

Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds, Sen. Chuck Grassley and Sen. Joni Ernst released a joint statement Tuesday morning saying that the nominating process “is not suffering because of a short delay in knowing the final results.”

“Iowans and all Americans should know we have complete confidence that every last vote will be counted and every last voice will be heard,” they said. “We look forward to Iowa carrying on its bipartisan legacy of service in the presidential nominating process.”

Acting homeland security head claims Iowa Dems 'declined' offer to test app

883d ago / 2:38 PM UTC

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf claimed on Tuesday that Iowa Democrats "declined" his department’s offer to test the app used to report caucus results on Monday for hacking vulnerabilities.

“So our cybersecurity and infrastructure security agency has offered to test that app, from a hacking perspective," Wolf said in an interview on Fox News Tuesday morning. "They declined, and so we're seeing a couple of issues with it. I would say right now we don't see any malicious cyber-activity going on,” 

Wolf said that the issues with the Iowa caucuses are not hacking-related, but described the problem as “more of a stress or a load issue, as well as a reporting issue.” 

Wolf added, “But what I would say is that, given the amount of scrutiny that we have on election security these  days, this is a concerning event and it really goes to the public confidence of our elections."

The Iowa Democratic Party has also said the delay in counting the results is not due to a hacking issue and said that "in preparation for the caucuses, our systems were tested by independent cybersecurity consultants." 

883d ago / 2:33 PM UTC

#MayorCheat trends after Iowa caucus problems

883d ago / 2:29 PM UTC

Claims of a rigged Iowa caucus have percolated on the far right and far left on Twitter after reporting problems delayed the announcement of the Iowa caucus results. 

On Tuesday morning, the hashtag "#MayorCheat" trended — an apparent reference to former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who was one of several candidates to give a victory-like speech Monday night, despite the lack of results — along with other hashtags insinuating that the caucus has been rigged. That claim has also been made by many high-profile Trump supporters.

The Iowa Democratic Party said Monday night that despite the delay and some "inconsistencies," there was no evidence of a "hack or intrusion" on the app used to report the results.

Iowa Democratic Party blames app 'coding issue' for delay in caucus results

883d ago / 2:26 PM UTC

The Iowa Democratic Party said Tuesday that its new app, meant to speed up the reporting of caucus results, suffered from a “coding issue” that instead led to a significant delay in counting and reporting results.

The error, which caused accurately collected data to only be partially reported, pushed the party to resort to manual backups.

"As part of our investigation, we determined with certainty that the underlying data collected via the app was sound," Iowa Democratic Party chairman Troy Price said in a statement. "While the app was recording data accurately, it was reporting out only partial data. We have determined that this was due to a coding issue in the reporting system. This issue was identified and fixed."

Read the story.

Biden campaign raises ‘concerns’ about ‘integrity’ of Iowa caucuses

883d ago / 2:19 PM UTC

Kate Bedingfield, Biden's deputy campaign manager and communications director, said the campaign has "real concerns about the integrity of the process” Tuesday morning during an appearance on CNN.

"I think there were some significant failures in the process last night that should give voters concern," Bedingfield said, citing difficulty that many caucus chairs had reporting results through an app and phone calls.

"I think taken together those are significant concerns," Bedingfield said. "I think they should raise concerns for voters. And, you know, election integrity is obviously of the utmost importance and so we really want to make sure the Iowa Democratic Party addresses this before they put out official data."

The Iowa Democratic has said that their data was "sound" and the delay in the results was not due to a hack or intrusion, rather an abundance of caution to ensure accuracy. They plan to release the results sometime Tuesday.

When asked what reason she has to believe differently than what the Iowa Democratic Party has stated, Bedingfield said, "If you have a process where you can't be confident that the results that are being reported are reflective of the votes that people cast last night and the process, that's a real concern."

Trump's campaign shouts 'rigged' as Iowa caucuses thrown into chaos

883d ago / 1:55 PM UTC

President Donald Trump's adult sons and campaign suggested the Iowa caucuses were "rigged" as the state Democratic Party said it found "inconsistencies" and delayed releasing results, leading to widespread confusion in the Hawkeye State.

"Mark my words, they are rigging this thing ... what a mess," Eric Trump, one of Trump's sons, tweeted. "This is why people don’t want the #Dems running our county."

"The fix is in... AGAIN," tweeted Trump's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr. "And we get to watch it play out on live TV. Incredible."

Trump did not go quite as far as his children and campaign, simply calling it "an unmitigated disaster," adding in a tweet that "The only person that can claim a very big victory in Iowa last night is 'Trump.''

There was no evidence that the state Democratic Party, which is overseeing the election, was "rigging" the results. Early Tuesday, the state party said it would release results from the Democratic caucuses later in the day after "manually verifying all precinct results."

Read the story.

883d ago / 1:44 PM UTC

Buttigieg: Iowa glitches are 'frustrating'

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883d ago / 1:43 PM UTC

Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg called the glitches in the Iowa caucuses results “frustrating” Tuesday morning as he campaigned in Nashua, New Hampshire. 

Buttigieg was heard briefly commenting on the yet-to-be released caucuses results as he was greeted by Nashua mayor, Jim Donchess, at a cafe. 

As Buttigieg left he did not respond to shouted questions about Iowa.

The former mayor added in comments to CBS News while he is “impatient” to hear the results of the caucuses, “it was a phenomenal night for us.” 

Buttigieg said  he was not premature in claiming victory because he was able to gather support in a variety of counties, some of which then-candidate Donald Trump won in 2016.

“Looking at what happened last night, looking at all of the data we got, it was an extraordinary night. And we are absolutely victorious coming into New Hampshire,” he said.

When asked about ensuring that the public trusts the results of the caucuses once they come out, Buttigieg said it's “good news” that there's a paper trail backing up the votes. 

“It's verifiable, but still very, very frustrating,” he said.

Biden campaign manager 'thrilled with our performance'

883d ago / 1:17 PM UTC

Joe Biden's campaign manager, Greg Schultz, expressed confidence overnight that the Iowa caucuses showed "a tight race with bunched up candidates," adding it was “a great night for us.” 

"We are thrilled with our performance across the state," he said.

"We have known for months that this contest was going to be extremely close — and that is confirmed by tonight’s caucuses," Schultz added. "There is no official Iowa Democratic Party data at this time — and any data being shared are from campaign internal metrics or head counts.

The campaign's own model showed Biden "overperformed in key districts we needed to be competitive in and we feel confident that this is a tight race with bunched up candidates," he continued. "Let’s be clear: No state delegate equivalents have been awarded. When it comes to the final outcome of the caucuses, this is still a competition for delegates, and the winner will continue to be based on State Delegate Equivalents. We believe  that we have won our fair share of them.”

883d ago / 12:23 PM UTC

ANALYSIS: So far, there's only one loser in Iowa: The state's Democratic party

883d ago / 11:59 AM UTC

ll the top Democrats are moving on to New Hampshire, because Iowa failed to do the one job it had.

colossal caucus-night technological foul-up — straight out of a dystopian political novel — will make it harder for the state's Democratic Party to justify its prized status as the first in the nation to hold a presidential election contest every four years. More immediately, it provided an opening for both Republicans and Democrats to question the eventual outcome of this round of caucuses, and it threw into doubt the validity of varying election systems in races for federal office.

Kurt Meyer, the chairman of the Tri-County Democratic Party, which includes three rural Iowa counties, said he’s “very worried” about the future of the caucuses. 

“There were already enough pea shooters out there coming for Iowa. There were 49 other states saying, ‘Why does Iowa get to do this?’” he said. “And now we just poured a gallon of kerosene on what was a smoldering ember.”

Read the analysis.

Trump calls caucus count 'an unmitigated disaster,' claims 'a very big victory'

883d ago / 11:46 AM UTC

No winner? No problem. Candidates give victory-like speeches in Iowa without any results

883d ago / 11:37 AM UTC

Amid prolonged delays in the reporting of results from the Iowa caucuses, there are still no numbers, and no winner.

And yet, a number of Democratic candidates took the stage at their respective campaign headquarters to deliver speeches late Monday night that very closely resembled declarations of victory as they vowed to push on to the next nominating contest in New Hampshire and beyond.

The speeches — by Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., entrepreneur Andrew Yang and former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg — were the latest act in an unprecedented and bizarre series of events on Iowa’s Democratic caucus night.

Read the story.

883d ago / 11:28 AM UTC

Results expected later Tuesday, Iowa Democratic Party says

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883d ago / 7:02 AM UTC

Results in the Iowa caucuses will be released later Tuesday, Troy Price, chair of the Iowa Democratic Party, said. 

In a very brief call with reporters, which took place shortly after the state party updated the campaigns, he said that the party is manually verifying precinct reports, which is taking longer than expected.

He reiterated that the issue is a reporting one, not a hack, and did not give timeline for when to expect tallies.

Warren projects optimism about her finish, vows to 'fight hard'

883d ago / 5:46 AM UTC

Warren continued to pitch her message of "big structural change" to expand opportunity for every American as the delay in reporting Iowa caucus results continued into the night. 

"I'm here tonight because I believe that big dreams are still possible in America," she told the crowd to rousing applause. "Americans do big things because that's who we are."

Warren also took a swipe at Trump, who is delivering the final State of the Union address of his first term on Tuesday. 

"Tomorrow, Donald Trump will make a speech about the State of the Union, but I have a message for every American: our union is stronger than Donald Trump," Warren said. "And in less than a year, our union will be stronger than ever when that one man is replaced by one very persistent woman." 

Warren spent the crux of her speech differentiating herself with Trump, contrasting their upbringing and life's work — Trump was born to wealthy parents in New York and avoided military service, while she grew up in a modest Oklahoma home with three brothers who served in the military. 

"I tell you this because of a person's values matter; a president's value matter and the only thing Donald Trump values is Donald Trump," she said. "He believes that the government is just one more thing to exploit, a toll to enrich himself and his rich buddies at everyone else's expense. I believe the government should work for everyone." 

Despite the delay in results, Warren appeared optimistic about the outcome — rallying her supports ahead of the other early voting state contests this month. 

"Tonight showed that our path to victory is to fight hard for the changes that Americans are demanded," she said. "Our agenda isn't just a progressive agenda; it isn't just a democratic agenda; it's an American agenda."

ANALYSIS: Claim victory and move on

883d ago / 5:40 AM UTC

Smart move by former Mayor Pete Buttigieg to declare victory.

For the next few hours at least, he’s going to raise money like a boss. His campaign will be energized when he hits the ground in New Hampshire. He sounds upbeat, he gets to give remarks about the future that sounds like the first bookend on what would be closed by a November election-night victory speech.  “Tonight, Iowa chose a new path,” he said.

So what if he’s wrong? He’ll get fact-checked to death. He’ll get made fun of on TV. The money won’t go back to the donors. He won’t lose energy in New Hampshire because of the speech he gave. And for anyone who watches clips in the morning, he’s the only candidate who looks like a winner. Low risk, big reward.

883d ago / 5:36 AM UTC

Yang makes math jokes about caucus result delays

883d ago / 5:30 AM UTC

Yang took the delay in reporting caucus results in good stride, coming out to give a version of his stump speech Monday night at his campaign headquarters at the the Iowa Events Center.

"I gotta say I'm a numbers guy and I'm still waiting on numbers for tonight," Yang said.

Yang struck a more serious note when he addressed the goals for his campaign as he prepares for the New Hampshire debate later in the week.

"The math that I care about most about is this movement is already something that has shocked the political world. And it's going to keep growing from here," Yang said.

Iowa Democrats hung up on campaigns after call gets heated

883d ago / 5:25 AM UTC

The Iowa Democrats hosted a conference call with the campaigns within the last hour.

Sources confirm the Iowa Dems hung up on the campaigns as campaigns pressed for more information about the issues with reporting and when they would receive more data/results. Sources say the call got very heated.

'On to New Hampshire,' Biden says as delays drag on

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883d ago / 5:08 AM UTC

Amid "inconsistencies" the state party has said it found with the caucus results, former Vice President Joe Biden rallied his supporters at Drake University in Iowa and vowed to soldier on through the Democratic primary.

"From our indications, it's going to be close, we are going to walk out of here with our share of delegates. We don't know exactly what it is yet, but we feel good about where we are," Biden said. "So it's on to New Hampshire. Nevada, South Carolina. And well beyond. We are in this for the long haul."

Biden continued to pitch himself as the best person to take on President Donald Trump, saying he has broad support and will unite people across demographics.

"Four more years of Donald Trump will fundamentally alter the character of this nation," he said. "Character is on the ballot. That's what it is."

"Folks, we're gonna do it, I promise you we're going to get this done," he added. "And God willing, we'll do it together."

 

Sanders predicts 'we're going to be doing very, very well here in Iowa'

883d ago / 4:56 AM UTC

Sanders, speaking at his election headquarters in Des Moines, is the latest candidate to deliver a televised speech absent any results, following Klobuchar, Biden and Warren.

“I have a strong feeling that at some point the results will be announced. And when those results are announced, I have a good feeling we’re going to be doing very, very well here in Iowa,” Sanders told an enthusiastic crowd.

Sanders then proceeded into a stump speech that wasn’t short on criticism of President Donald Trump and that touched on income inequality and Medicare For All.

“The message that Iowa has sent to the nation, the message shared by the American people, is that we want a government that represents all of us, not just wealthy campaign contributors and the 1 percent,” Sanders said. 

Biden camp shreds 'considerable flaws' in letter to Iowa Democratic Party

883d ago / 4:47 AM UTC

The Biden campaign has sent a letter to the Iowa Democratic Party about tonight's delays. From Dana Remus, Biden's general counsel:

 "I write on behalf of the Biden for President Campaign regarding the considerable flaws in tonight’s Iowa Caucus reporting system. The app that was intended to relay Caucus results to the Party failed; the Party’s back-up telephonic reporting system likewise has failed. Now, we understand that Caucus Chairs are attempting to — and, in many cases, failing to — report results telephonically to the Party. These acute failures are occurring statewide.

We appreciate that you plan to brief the campaigns momentarily on these issues, and we plan to participate. However, we believe that the campaigns deserve full explanations and relevant information regarding the methods of quality control you are employing, and an opportunity to respond, before any official results are released. We look forward to hearing from you promptly.

In the meantime, we are on to New Hampshire, on the road to the most important election of our lifetimes."

Klobuchar implores her crowd to 'stay up, stay happy'

883d ago / 4:36 AM UTC

No results are in yet, but that didn't stop Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., from coming out to give what sounded like a victory speech Monday night.

Other candidates, including former Vice President Joe Biden, quickly followed suit. 

“We know there’s delays, but we know one thing: we are punching above our weight,” she told a cheering crowd of supporters in a televised address. “We are feeling so good tonight.”

The senator isn't expected to come first here in Iowa's caucuses, but she enjoyed a late polling surge and took advantage of the delay in the results to give a version of her stump speech.

“Somehow, some way, I’m going to get on a plane to New Hampshire tonight,” she said. “Even in a crowded field of candidates, even during the well-earned impeachment hearing of Donald Trump that kept me bolted to my senate desk for two weeks. We kept fighting, and you kept fighting for me.”

With a crowd that interrupted her to chant "Amy! Amy! Amy!," Klobuchar encouraged her supporters to stay up late and wait for the tally.

"Stay up, stay happy!" she said.

'Inconsistencies' caused Iowa delays, party says

883d ago / 4:32 AM UTC

The Iowa Democratic Party blamed tonight's delays on "inconsistencies" with the caucus results.

"We found inconsistencies in the reporting of three sets of results. 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," Iowa Democratic Party Communications Director Mandy McClure said. "This is simply a reporting issue, the app did not go down and this is not a hack or an intrusion. The underlying data and paper trail is sound and will simply take time to further report the results."

Iowa results backup system 'a disaster'

883d ago / 4:21 AM UTC

A source familiar with the process says the results app that the party is using is clearly not working and the backup phone line is likewise “a disaster.”

All campaigns participating in the party briefing momentarily.

Iowa Democratic Party speaking to campaigns about delays

883d ago / 4:19 AM UTC

There’s a call between the Iowa Democratic Party and representatives from each campaign happening right now, a senior Sanders campaign aide said.

Sanders, Klobuchar campaigns react to delays

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883d ago / 4:11 AM UTC

The Sanders and Klobuchar campaigns reacted to the result delays.

"Let's see what's happening," Ari Rabin-Havt, Sanders' deputy campaign manager, said. "I will be concerned when I have information. You guys have the same information I have."

Klobuchar’s team is “feeling good” right now about their results — they were unexpectedly viable in satellite caucuses today in Arizona and Florida, both with large turnouts despite not doing much organizing in those states. They’re also unexpectedly viable in some Des Moines suburbs, so they’re all positive right now.

What they’re not positive about is not having the official results yet.

Iowa Democrats set expectations for lower-than-predicted turnout

883d ago / 4:08 AM UTC

DES MOINES, Iowa — The Iowa Democratic Party released their first on-the-record statement as they've delayed releasing results from Monday's caucuses — and the big news is turnout. 

Communications director Mandy McClure said the party's "early data indicates turnout is on pace for 2016," which would be much lower than predictions of record turnout. 

Just 172,000 Democrats participated in the caucuses in 2016, which was way down from the record set in 2008, when 239,000 turned out. 

The party had been preparing for record turnout and many Iowa Democrats thought the jumbo-sized 2020 field would help drive more people to the polls. But if the party's early projection proves true, those predictions may have been way off. 

What's this about an app?

883d ago / 4:01 AM UTC

With the reports of the Iowa caucus results delayed, there's some question about whether a new smartphone app meant to speed up reporting has been more trouble than it's worth.

NBC News' Ben Popken wrote about the app in January, noting that security experts expressed come concern about the app, noting that it was expected to be downloaded on to the phones of caucus managers.

The app was not the only way for precinct managers to report results, with a phone hotline also available in addition to paper backups.

The new app first showed signs of trouble earlier in the day, with some precinct leaders and county chairs stating that they were unable — or unwilling — to use the app.

And by the way, the app is supposed to used in the upcoming Nevada caucuses.

Iowa Democrats give more info on delays, say turnout matches 2016

883d ago / 3:51 AM UTC

Iowa Democratic Party Communications Director Mandy McClure said in a statement, "The integrity of the results is paramount. 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." 

How coin tosses — yes, really — are used in Iowa's caucuses

883d ago / 3:38 AM UTC

DES MOINES, Iowa — A handful of coin flips have been used to help determine outcomes of tied results in a few Iowa caucus precincts Monday night, according to reports.

Iowa Democratic Party rules dictate that in some circumstances if, "two or more preference groups are tied...a coin toss shall determine which group" has to disband or get another delegate.

A coin toss is used in a few cases, including to determine which candidate gets an extra delegate if two or more candidates' supporters are tied at the margins. In cases where two or more groups are tied for the lowest number of supporters in the caucus room and both are at risk of being forced to disband, a coin toss can determine which group of supporters has to go elsewhere. 

There were 13 coin tosses statewide in 2016 — seven of which went for Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and six of which went for Hillary Clinton, according to the Iowa Democratic Party.

Those coin flips were highly controversial, with Sanders supporters claiming they tipped the race towards Clinton, even though it was later determined that more went for him than Clinton.

Iowa Democratic caucus race too early to call, according to NBC News

883d ago / 3:37 AM UTC

DES MOINES, Iowa — Early entrance polls show four leading candidates vying for first place on Monday night in Iowa's Democratic caucuses, with final results remaining unclear after a delay in their release.

Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren were all contesting for the lead, according to an NBC News entrance poll.

Results were much slower than expected, with no data being released by 10:15 p.m. ET. The Iowa Democratic Party, which runs the caucuses, says it is taking quality control steps out of an abundance of caution. By this time in 2016, well over 50 percent of the results were in.

The party is, for the first time, releasing three separate numbers from the caucuses — at the beginning of the caucus, at the end and how many delegates that translates to — which has added to the complexity of the process.

Support for each candidate will likely change inside each precinct throughout the caucus process, which is very different from traditional voting.

Read more.

883d ago / 3:18 AM UTC

Why no Democratic results yet? 'Quality control checks,' Iowa party says

883d ago / 3:08 AM UTC

Per the Iowa State Democratic Party:

“We are doing our quality control checks, making sure the numbers are accurate. People are still caucusing, were working to report results soon.”

At this point in the night in 2016, we had 80 percent of the vote in.

 

NBC News Entrance Poll: Sanders, Buttigieg lead among first-time Democratic caucusgoers

883d ago / 3:06 AM UTC

Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg are the favorites of Iowans attending a Democratic presidential caucus for the first time Monday night, according to the NBC News Entrance Poll. 

Three in 10 of these first-timers said they support Sanders; about a quarter said their top choice is Buttigieg. Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden trail behind.

Iowa Entrance Poll first time caucus candidates

Just about a third of those caucusing this year are first-timers, a dip from previous years, the NBC News Entrance Poll found. 

Castro takes his personal pitch for Warren to Des Moines precinct

883d ago / 2:59 AM UTC

Former HUD Secretary Julián Castro dropped out the race in early January, and almost immediately threw his support behind Warren. 

Woman accuses neighbor of pretending to be undecided so people will 'woo' him

883d ago / 2:51 AM UTC

An inside look at how caucusgoers lobby undecided voters

883d ago / 2:50 AM UTC

NBC News Entrance Poll: Late deciders in Iowa support Biden, Buttigieg

883d ago / 2:48 AM UTC

More than 1 in 10 Iowa Democratic caucusgoers waited until Monday to decide who to support this year, NBC News Entrance Poll data show. The top choices among these late deciders: former Vice President Joe Biden and former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg. They each drew support from at least 1 in 5 of these caucusgoers.

Additional entrance poll data show that these late deciders were particularly concerned about choosing a candidate who can win back the White House in November: Most (70 percent) said that nominating a candidate who can beat President Donald Trump was more important than choosing a candidate they agree with on key issues.

Iowa Entrance Poll late deciders Biden Buttigieg

Facebook warns users before they post false Iowa voter registration claims

883d ago / 2:42 AM UTC

Facebook users received a fact check prompt when attempting to share a trending story with false claims about Iowa voter registration on Monday.

The platform showed the warning when users tried to share the misleading story from popular conservative sites Hannity.com, Gateway Pundit, and Judicial Watch.

“False information in this post,” warns the roadblock. “Independent fact-checkers at Lead Stories say this post has false information. To help stop the spread of false news, a notice will be added to your post if you decide to share this.”

The site gave users three options: “Share anyway” “See fact-check” or “Cancel.”

Clicking the second takes them to a writeup on LeadStories.

“The Judicial Watch release listed eight counties as having more voters on the rolls than there were eligible voters," the site writes. “The facts don't bear that out.” 

The original Judicial Watch story cited outdated data to falsely claim the numbers of registered voters were inaccurate. The LeadStories piece cited Census data to debunk the original claims made by Judicial Watch/

The social media giant has for years partnered with third-party fact-checkers to vet information flagged by its automated misinformation detection tools.

Facebook didn’t immediately respond to an NBC News request for comment.

NBC News Entrance Poll: Iowa Democrats like 'Medicare for All' — especially Sanders and Warren supporters

883d ago / 2:37 AM UTC

Nearly 6 in 10 participants in the Iowa Democratic presidential caucuses favor replacing private health insurance with a single government plan, the key provision of the “Medicare for All" proposal, according to results from Monday's NBC News Entrance Poll. 

Iowa Entrance Poll Medicare for All

The poll found that Medicare for All is especially popular among supporters of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Nine in 10 Sanders supporters favor the plan, as do 8 in 10 Warren supporters.

But Medicare for All is liked much less by supporters of former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and former Vice President Joe Biden. 

Iowa Entrance Poll Medicare for All candidates

The realignment: Small Adel, Iowa, precinct breaks for Buttigieg

883d ago / 2:26 AM UTC

ADEL, Iowa — The second alignment in the Democratic caucusing here at the Adel DeSoto Minburn Middle School has concluded, and we have a victor.

It’s Pete Buttigieg.

After a surprisingly suspenseful period during which the supporters of the non-viable candidates at this location (Yang, Klobuchar and Sanders) slowly decided where to throw their support, it became clear that it would be a very close three-way race between Buttigieg, Warren and Biden.

At one moment, a woman in a black sweater who had originally aligned with Yang couldn’t make up her mind, and literally walked back and forth between the Warren and Buttigieg groups before finally sticking with Buttigieg.

A few moments later, party officials announced the final count. And it was close.

In the end, at this location, Buttigieg received the support of 32 people, Warren received the support of 29 people, and Biden received the support of 24 people.

That means that, after the first alignment, Biden picked up three supporters, Warren picked up nine supporters and Buttigieg picked up 12.

One woman who switched from Yang to Buttigieg after the first alignment — not the one in the black sweater mentioned above — said it came down her view of electability.

“I just feel like he really is the most electable,” Jeanne Dobrzynski, a nurse here in Adel, told NBC News.

Two voters NBC News interviewed earlier in the night, Lacey Cornwell and her husband Jay Cornwell, also ended up going with Buttigieg.

Lacey Cornwell went with him immediately, on the first alignment, while Jay Cornwell went with him on the second. He’d initially said he’d support Tom Steyer, but decided to go with Klobuchar on the first alignment. He then switched to Buttigieg after Klobuchar didn’t reach viability.

NBC News Entrance Poll: A dip in first-timers at Iowa’s Democratic caucuses

883d ago / 2:16 AM UTC

Compared to previous years in Iowa, there was a big dip on Monday in participants attending a Democratic caucus for the first time, NBC News Entrance Poll data show. 

Just about a third of those caucusing this year are first-timers. That’s lower than in 2016, when first-timers made up 44 percent of the state’s Democratic caucusgoers. And this year’s level of new participants is significantly lower than in 2008, when 57 percent of Democrats said they’d never caucused before.

 

Iowa Entrance Poll first timers

Inside a caucus, Warren supporter tells Katy Tur: 'I believe she's electable'

883d ago / 2:05 AM UTC

NBC News Entrance Poll: Sanders top choice for Iowa liberals; Biden, Buttigieg lead among moderates

883d ago / 2:04 AM UTC

Ideology has emerged as a key fault line dividing Iowa Democrats among the party’s top presidential contenders, early results from Monday's NBC News Entrance Poll show.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is the favorite of voters who call themselves either “very” or “somewhat” liberal, followed by Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

But among self-identified moderate and conservative Iowa Democratic caucusgoers, the top choice is former Vice President Joe Biden: About 3 in 10 of these voters said they planned to support the former vice president, with Buttigieg running a strong second.

Iowa Entrance Poll ideology

A bad sign for Biden?

883d ago / 2:03 AM UTC

An observation from NBC News contributor Dave Wasserman:

At Dallas County precinct, Warren, Buttigieg, Biden cruise in first round

883d ago / 1:49 AM UTC

ADEL, Iowa — Caucusing has commenced at the Adel DeSoto Minburn Middle School in this Dallas County town of about 4,400.

At 7:00 p.m. local time, promptly, party officials locked the doors and announced the start of the meeting. They first went through some routine business, before formally kicking off the caucus process. 

First, the number of caucusgoers in the room was counted and, in short order, party officials announced that there were officially 94 people in the room. They then announced that a candidate would need to have the support of 16 caucusgoers to be viable after the first round at this location. 

Caucusgoers then had 15 minutes to align with their preferred candidate.

After the time period closed, and choices were counted, party officials announced who would — and would not — be viable. 

Not viable at this location were: Andrew Yang, who got support from six people; Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., who got support from 11 people, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who got support from 14 people. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., who dropped out of the race, got the support of two people.

The candidates who surpassed the viability threshold in the first alignment were: Former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who got the support of 20 people; former Vice President Joe Biden, who got the support of 21 people; and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., who got the support of 20 people.

We have moved on to the second alignment now.

NBC News Entrance Poll: Sanders keeps support of just over half of Iowa Democrats who caucused for him in 2016

883d ago / 1:47 AM UTC

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ outsider bid came within a hairsbreadth of winning the Iowa Democratic caucuses in 2016. Early results from the NBC News Entrance Poll on Monday show that among those caucusing this year, Sanders is keeping the support of just over half of those who caucused for him four years ago. 

The remainder of Sanders' 2016 voters are now divided among Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and former Vice President Joe Biden.

Iowa Entrance Poll Sanders vote divided

Iowa Democratic official says early signs of high voter turnout

883d ago / 1:46 AM UTC

Sean Bagniewski is the chair of Polk County Democrats (where Des Moines is located.)

Iowa mosques make history

883d ago / 1:44 AM UTC

Caucus process is a barrier to access for some

883d ago / 1:38 AM UTC

SIOUX CITY, Iowa — Iowans with small children, nontraditional schedules or disabilities may still face barriers to participating in Iowa’s quirky Democratic caucus process, an often hours-long debate among neighbors at night.

At an Amy Klobuchar event Saturday, Hailey Poiesz, 22, said she plans to caucus with her baby.

Her husband, an immigrant who cannot vote, will stay home with her older child, but she said the baby is happier with her so she'll bring him along. 

“It’s a little bit chaotic,” she said, noting she wasn't sure if she'd be able to stay for the full event. “And this is a school night!” 

Iowa's caucuses have been plagued by lower turnout. In a state of more than 3 million people, just 171,109 Democrats showed up to caucus in 2016.

The state Democratic Party has worked to increase accessibility, including adding a slew of satellite caucuses this year in hopes of expanding access. Some satellite caucuses are earlier in the day to accommodate shift workers, while others are at colleges, nursing homes and hospitals. The party has also recruited translators and has a caucus site for deaf Iowans who want to caucus in sign language, too.

One campaign is trying to personally bridge the accessibility gap: Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren's campaign is offering child care for some caucusgoers, circulating a sign-up sheet in the days Monday's first-in-the-nation contest. 

After a campaign event with former Vice President Joe Biden in Fort Madison on Friday, Dan Greenwald, 61, told NBC News that his work shift conflicts with the 8 p.m. ET caucus start time and that the satellite caucuses would have disrupted his sleep schedule, too. But he enjoys caucusing too much to miss it. 

“I’m taking vacation off work — just to go!” he said. "It's January and my vacation bank just got full again!"

NBC News Entrance Poll: Health care matters most to Iowa Democrats

883d ago / 1:35 AM UTC

Health care leads the list of issues mattering most to Iowa Democrats as they participate in Monday's presidential caucuses, according to early results from the NBC News Entrance Poll.

About 4 in 10 Democrats named health care as the most important issue when they decided which candidate to support. Three other issues — climate change, income inequality and foreign policy — all trailed behind. 

Iowa Entrance Poll health care issue matters most

Biden manages expectations ahead of Iowa results

and

883d ago / 1:31 AM UTC

The closing days of the Biden campaign here in Iowa have all seemed to be about managing expectations — including from the candidate himself.

“Nothing happens here on Monday's going to end this campaign,” the former vice president told NBC News in a recent interview between campaign stops on his bus. “I think you're going to see a bunch of us coming out bunched up, and that's going to be fine. I mean, I'd rather have an outright win, don't get me wrong.”

A senior Biden campaign official said this isn’t about lowering expectations so much as it is a reflection of a volatile political environment and a caucus campaign unlike any before it. 

At the same time, the official warned against anyone reading too much into one result, especially from a state like Iowa where the demographics don’t reflect the broader coalition that typically has decided Democratic nominations.

It represents the bind the Biden team has been in all along. To have ignored Iowa would have been seen as an admission of weakness by a candidate whose core argument has been about his electability. But waiting until late April to jump in the race and the more liberal bent of the caucus electorate always was going to put him at a disadvantage here.

Still, the Biden team went all-in in the Hawkeye State in the late fall, sensing a chance perhaps to put the nomination fight to bed before it really started with a victory here. The team felt it was gaining momentum through the holidays, although late pointed attacks from the Bernie Sanders campaign, coupled with the constant din of Ukraine attacks from the president and his allies, seemed to dent it.

The Biden team’s response to the Ukraine attacks at to cast them as evidence of just how much the Trump team feared facing Biden in the fall. As for the Bernie attacks? Biden tried to keep the conversation about the policy contrasts that he felt played to his strengths as he sold voters on his ability to win over swing voters.

“The old saying is that talk is cheap. Well in politics, talk is sometimes very expensive. Especially when you don't tell people how you're going to pay for what you tell them you're going to do,” Biden said at a closing weekend stop in Waterloo. “We have to beat Donald Trump. And the one thing you can't do is end up not being straight with American people, he'll eat you alive. He'll eat us alive.”

Biden didn’t name Sanders there explicitly, though he did in an interview later.

“Bernie's dilemma, from my perspective, is that he is not being straightforward on how he's going to get done what he's suggesting and the cost of what he's suggesting,” he said. “Barack and I inherited a recession, the greatest recession since the Depression, what happened was we not only got us out of the hole, but we reduced the overall debt. Now it's back up to a trillion dollars a year, and how in God's name are you going to go in and spend $60 trillion over the next 10?”

Trump wins Iowa GOP caucuses, NBC News projects

883d ago / 1:28 AM UTC

President Donald Trump was quickly the projected winner of the Republican caucuses in Iowa on Monday, defeating several minor candidates who are challenging the president for the GOP nomination.

NBC News
NBC News Decision Desk

NBC News projected around 7:20 p.m. CT that Trump won, beating candidates Joe Walsh, a conservative radio host and former congressman, and Bill Weld, who served as governor of Massachusetts from 1991 until 1997.

Read more here

Early data is coming in as caucuses officially underway

883d ago / 1:25 AM UTC

DES MOINES, Iowa — Early entrance polls show four leading candidates vying for first place on Monday night as doors close Iowa's Democratic caucuses, with final results remaining unclear.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren are all contesting for the lead, according to an NBC News entrance poll.

The race remains too early to call, according to NBC News. 

Read more here.

NBC News Entrance Poll: Young Iowa caucusgoers flock to Sanders, while seniors favor Biden

883d ago / 1:25 AM UTC

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is the top choice of caucusgoers under 30 in Monday's Iowa Democratic presidential caucuses, while former Vice President Joe Biden is the clear favorite among those age 65 or over.

Early results from the NBC News Entrance Poll of Iowa Democrats finds Sanders capturing the support of about half of caucusgoers age 17 to 29, with former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Biden trailing well behind. 

Among seniors, the story is nearly the opposite: Biden is capturing the support of nearly 4 in 10 participants age 65 and over, followed by Buttigieg, Warren and then Sanders.

Iowa Entrance Poll generational divide

ANALYSIS: Will Bernie’s backers play ball?

883d ago / 1:21 AM UTC

One way Sanders could be judged is how his supporters respond at caucus sites where they don’t meet the 15% threshold. Will they refuse to realign en masse — taking their proverbial ball and going home?

Will they tend toward other candidates outside the party mainstream like Yang? Will they cluster around fellow progressive Warren? Or might they go “bro” with Biden or Buttigieg?

NBC News Entrance Poll: A big leap in late-deciding Iowa Democrats

883d ago / 1:16 AM UTC

About one-third of those participating in Monday evening’s Iowa Democratic presidential caucuses waited until the last few days to make up their mind about who to support, according to early results from the NBC News Entrance Poll. 

That’s a substantial leap from four years ago, when just 16 percent of caucusgoers waited this late to decide.

 

Iowa Entrance Poll late deciders

In Dallas County town, caucusgoers say they're looking for a 'fresh' candidate

883d ago / 1:07 AM UTC

ADEL, Iowa — Democratic caucusgoers have begun gathering in the commons of the Adel DeSoto Minburn Middle School, a location that could feature a battle among the more moderate candidates in the race. 

Caucusing here, a town of about 4,400 people about 30 miles west of Des Moines, formally kicked off at 8 p.m. ET. Adel is in the center of Dallas County, the fastest growing county in the state. In the same county in 2016, Hillary Clinton beat Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., 57 percent to 42 percent. 

Lacey Cornwell, a 37-year-old, self-employed Adel resident told NBC News that she was still undecided between former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. 

Cornwell, who said she identifies as an independent but supported Clinton in 2016 in both the caucuses and in the general election, said that she “just wants someone who is not controversial.”

“They’re a bit fresher and don’t have all the dirt the others do,” she said.”

Her husband Jay Cornwell, a 40-year-old conductor for the Union Pacific Railroad company, said he was going to caucus for Tom Steyer, whom he said he felt “would be the strongest debating Trump.”

If Steyer does not reach viability here, Cornwell said he’d then back Buttigieg.

“He’s young, he’s a veteran, I’m a veteran, and his lack of being in major high-level politics I think has appeal,” he said. “He’s fresh.”

NBC News Entrance Poll: Once again, liberals pack the Iowa Democratic caucuses

883d ago / 12:59 AM UTC

Liberals make up nearly 7 in 10 of those participating in the 2020 Iowa Democratic presidential caucuses Monday evening, according to early results from the NBC News Entrance Poll of party caucusgoers.

That’s about the same as four years ago, but a big leap from the previous contested Democratic caucuses in 2008, when liberals made up just 54 percent of Democrats who showed up.

Iowa Entrance Poll Liberals

NBC News Entrance Poll: Iowa Democrats want a nominee who can beat Trump

883d ago / 12:48 AM UTC

Voters attending Monday evening’s Iowa Democratic presidential caucuses prefer a nominee who is more likely to win in November over a nominee who shares their positions on key issues.

Early data from the NBC News Entrance Poll show that when asked to choose, about 6 in 10 caucusgoers say they would rather see their party nominate a candidate who “can beat Donald Trump,” while nearly 4 in 10 want a nominee who “agrees with you on major issues.”

Iowa Entrance Poll Democratic candidate November vs issues

Meanwhile in New Hampshire...

883d ago / 12:46 AM UTC

Biden comes in 4th in unreleased gold-standard Iowa poll: report

883d ago / 12:44 AM UTC

Unreleased results of the Des Moines Register's closely watched Iowa poll, which was spiked this weekend amid concerns it was flawed, showed Joe Biden in fourth place, according to Five Thirty Eight.

The Des Moines Register and CNN announced on Saturday that they would not release the highly anticipated and historically prescient survey, after a Pete Buttigieg supporter flagged an issue with the questionnaire.

Read more on the poll here.

883d ago / 12:28 AM UTC

It's not just Democrats. The Trump campaign is also in Iowa.

883d ago / 12:12 AM UTC

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — President Donald Trump’s re-elect campaign held a press conference here on Monday afternoon to preview its strategy and talk about the “trial run” nature of the Republican caucuses ahead of the general election battle to come.  

Campaign manager Brad Parscale said the caucuses would be the “first test” of the grassroots army the campaign has built, adding that “it’s time to take the training wheels off.” More than 80 surrogates, including Cabinet members and former White House officials, will be fanned out across the Hawkeye state at different caucus sites Monday evening.

That’s very different from their approach last cycle when, as Eric Trump, the president's son, said, “We literally didn’t know what caucuses were.” (Reminder: Trump finished second in Iowa in the 2016 primary but won the state by 10 points in the general election.)

Asked what he thought of the Democrats competing on Monday, Parscale predicted, “I think Bernie will do well.” He maintained the president has no preference for his opponent. “He’s ready” for any of the candidates, Parscale added.

“If Biden doesn’t win big, he’s probably in a lot of trouble,” Donald Trump Jr. said, before saying he’d enjoy the potential matchup. “That is a fight I would pay a lot of money to see.”

“We don’t take a single vote for granted,” Trump campaign senior adviser and daughter-in-law Lara Trump said. “We take this election seriously.”

Midway through news conference, a protester stood up and identified himself as an “American Jew” who was unhappy with the president and started shouting at Trump Jr. about anti-Semitism. The man was immediately escorted out by security, as Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., started a “Four More Years!” chant among the surrogates.

“We’ve gotten used to this,” Trump Jr. said, talking over the protester and touting the Trump administration's actions to support Israel, such as moving the embassy to Jerusalem.

During his remarks, Trump Jr. took shots at Michael Bloomberg’s height and Hunter Biden’s business dealings with Ukraine.

Trump campaign officials also touted the president’s recent trade deals and slammed the media’s “obsession” with the impeachment “sham.”

Trump is not facing a serious challenge from either of his primary opponents— former Rep. Joe Walsh and former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld— but both are still actively campaigning against him.

So why go through all the effort? As a Trump spokesman put it, “Is there anything we don’t go big on?”

 

883d ago / 12:08 AM UTC

Where to find Iowa race results

883d ago / 11:50 PM UTC

Caucus doors close — and the action begins — at 8 p.m. ET.

We'll have live updates as soon as results start coming in, plus maps and county breakdowns, right here.

The view from the Warren camp

884d ago / 11:17 PM UTC

DES MOINES, Iowa — For the Warren campaign in Iowa, it's all about high turnout, a ground game built around a wide engagement of voters, and winning on state delegate equivalents, per a senior Warren adviser I spoke to Monday afternoon.

On turnout: The campaign built its ground game around engaging as wide a range of voters as possible, never making assumptions about where they’d find those supporters. The senior Warren aide said they could see turnout as high or higher than the record in 2008, but declined to give specific numbers.

This plays into the closing argument we've been hearing from Warren on unity. As one Warren aide told me over the weekend: Among those they've identified to caucus for Warren and who also caucused in 2016 split evenly between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.

Warren is trying to bridge the "moderate" and "progressive" lanes that we like to frame things in, but voters aren't necessarily thinking of it that way.

This senior adviser also notes the reputation of the Warren organizers, some of who have been on the ground here since March 2019, will be a big boon. Warren's team sees their people as motivated and energized — with surrogates, like Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., visiting field offices throughout the day Monday to keep supporters engaged, amid the final get-out-the-caucus canvassing push.

And they argue that Warren was able to stay connected to Iowa despite the impeachment that kept her in Washington through tele-town halls, local TV and radio appearance, and national interviews — and that she was able to establish some momentum, if not in polling consistency, with things like The Des Moines Register endorsement and backing from notable Iowans.

Iowa precinct leaders report problems with app for reporting results

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884d ago / 10:41 PM UTC

At least a dozen precinct leaders across Iowa are having issues downloading or logging into a new smartphone application used to report the caucus night results, potentially delaying the counting of the first round of results.

Chairs of four different counties said they had precinct leaders who experienced issues with the app, from receiving an error that their login wasn’t recognized to missing a cutoff time for downloading it. At least one — Laura Hubka, chair of the Howard County Democrats — said she declined to use the app.

The app is optional to use but was the preferred method for sending in results, according to the Iowa Democrat Party precinct leader manual. Those who can’t use the app will use pen and paper and call a dedicated hotline to report the results. 

Mandy McClure, the Iowa Democratic Party communications director, said in a statement, “The IDP is working with any precinct chairs who want to use the optional tabulation application to make sure they are comfortable with it. We've always been aware that many precinct chairs prefer to call in results via a secure hotline, and have systems in place so they can do so."

Brett Niles, chair of the Linn County Democrats, said eight of his 86 temporary caucus chairs weren’t able to log in to the app. He reported hearing of “sporadic” issues in other counties.

“You’ve got volunteers spread out through the entire state. It’s tough to make sure everyone does as they’re supposed to,” Niles said.

Benjamin Pu contributed reporting.

Iowa Democrats look to ease concern about location changes

884d ago / 9:23 PM UTC

Iowa Democrats are trying to assuage concerns that around a dozen precinct caucus locations are changing at the last minute. 

The party has been tweeting out various location changes for several caucus sites ahead of Monday night’s caucuses, which begin at 8 p.m. ET. These abrupt changes have sparked concerns about caucusgoers who may not be aware of the changes and therefore will show up at the wrong place, along with criticisms online that the changes are happening in an effort to tamp down turnout for certain candidates. 

Kevin Geiken, executive director of the Iowa Democrats, said on Twitter that these changes are typical for caucuses.

"Caucus location changes are possible due to unforeseen circumstances like capacity reasons, environmental factors beyond our control, and more," he said. "We will always update you and the campaigns as soon as we know to ensure transparency and accessibility."

There are more than 1,600 precinct sites across Iowa on Monday, as Iowans make the first step toward selecting the presidential nominee. 

Klobuchar puts Trump's impeachment trial at center of high-stakes closing pitch

884d ago / 8:40 PM UTC

BETTENDORF, Iowa — This isn’t how Sen. Amy Klobuchar thought the lead-up to the Iowa caucuses would go.

Instead of long stretches on the road for the kind of grassroots, folksy campaigning she perfected running for office next door, in her home state of Minnesota, Klobuchar spent the last two weeks in Washington, consumed by President Donald Trump's impeachment trial.

In her final, frenzied spin across Iowa over the weekend, the senator offered a simple closing argument: The allegations against Trump — and the furious partisan fights stirred by his impeachment — are exactly why she's running.

“I really see this election and my candidacy as really an extension of that, because what this is, this election, yes, it’s an economic check,” she told voters Saturday in a bike shop that served as overflow for the hundreds of people packed into a brewery next door. “But more than that, it is a decency check.”

Read the story.

884d ago / 8:36 PM UTC

Pressley celebrates birthday in Iowa: 'Y’all know what my wish is'

884d ago / 8:30 PM UTC

Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., spent her birthday Monday campaigning in Iowa for Elizabeth Warren, as the Massachusetts senator was stuck in Washington for the impeachment trial.

When Pressley stopped into Warren’s Ankeny campaign office to rally volunteers before their last round of door-knocking, she was greeted with a birthday cake and candles and a rendition of "Happy Birthday to You."

Pressley said a great gift for her 46th birthday would be to get Warren elected as the 46th president. 

“Y’all know what my wish is,” she said before blowing out the candles.

Caucusing while married

884d ago / 7:53 PM UTC

Editor’s note: The author, a writer at "Dateline NBC" with Lester Holt, is a friend of Laurie Sands and David Busiek and will follow what happens to them and the rest of the caucusgoers at Hoover High School in Des Moines for NBC News' live blog. Tune in for more posts as the day progresses. 

DES MOINES, Iowa — Like a lot of couples across America this primary season, Laurie Sands and David Busiek are supporting different candidates. But in a caucus state, that means heading out to your local high school gym and very possibly competing against your spouse in real time all evening, trying to persuade friends and neighbors to support your chosen candidate — and not your partner’s.

Sands is supporting former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg; Busiek is backing Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.

Lorna Graham / NBC News

Sands, a former Des Moines school board member, has caucused every presidential election year since 1979. She says she supports Buttigieg because, “His values are values that unite us as a country. He’s all about inclusivity. When you volunteer for him, you follow ‘10 Rules of the Road’ for how we treat each other and those from other campaigns."

She adds, "He’s 38 but his age doesn’t reflect his experience, wisdom and creativity. Thomas Jefferson was 33 when he wrote Declaration of Independence!” 

Busiek, a former news director at the CBS affiliate in Des Moines, was never able to air his political views publicly, but now that he is newly retired, he's attending his first caucus.

He called Klobuchar "bright, articulate and calm," adding that she was "very good" during the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, "very much the adult in the room." He added that he likes her "experience, age and emphasis on practical solutions" and that she’s a "Midwesterner.”

Sands says she wishes they were supporting the same candidate and adds that she hopes they don’t wind up going head-to-head for the exact same voters Monday night. “That would be tough.”

“We do so many things in alignment, and this is so important," she said. "So, to me, this is stressful.” 

For Busiek? Not so much. “Our candidates are not so far apart," he said. "We’re ultimately working for the same things.” 

ANALYSIS: Caucus game theory

884d ago / 7:50 PM UTC

By Tuesday morning, it should be obvious whether any of the Democratic campaigns struck deals to partner up — or simply executed a superior strategy — on caucus night.

The permutations of caucus game theory are endless. But here are a few things to think about as you watch tonight, and one big reason to be skeptical that the invisible hands of political operatives are able manipulate the process.

At each of the caucus locations across the state, there’s a first round of candidate selection. Candidates who receive 15 percent support are considered viable and those who don’t are considered not viable. The caucusgoers who sided with nonviable candidates are then allowed to realign, if they choose, in a second round. They can realign to boost the score for an already viable candidate or match up with a group of other caucusgoers to try to make a nonviable candidate viable. 

Because it’s a multiround public voting system in which neighbors actively try to persuade each other to join the cluster for one candidate or another, there’s potentially a lot of room for dealmaking.

But it’s all complicated. A campaign that appears to be twisting arms too hard or that conspires with a second campaign to stab a third candidate in the back for its own benefit may see the tactic backfire on caucus night or in later stages of the nomination fight.

So, campaigns have to decide whether to deploy any strategy beyond simply persuading caucusgoers to back their own candidates, determine which other candidates the campaign would want to help or hurt, and judge which adversaries make good targets for potential dealmaking. And the answers to those questions might fluctuate depending on the caucus site and across the state as results from nearly 1,700 locations start to become clear. 

That is, all the players are processing a lot of information at once, which means a bad move could be worse than no move at all. It’s a little less complicated if there’s a clear alignment between candidates on ideological grounds — say, Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who both represent the progressive wing of the Democratic electorate. But those candidates are also in competition with each other.

Former Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., who won the Iowa caucuses in 2004, told NBC News on Sunday that there’s usually a lot of talk but not much actual action.

“There are some conversations, but I think too much is made of the capacity to execute because people in Iowa are very independent,” Kerry said. “They don’t want to be mass-moved.”

Debunked claims about Iowa voter fraud pushed by conservative activists

884d ago / 7:44 PM UTC

Allegations of impending voter fraud in Iowa, pushed by conservative activists with debunked evidence, are being shared widely on Twitter ahead of the Iowa caucuses. 

The viral claims originated Sunday with a tweet by Tom Fitton, president of the conservative legal group Judicial Watch. 

“BIG: Eight Iowa counties have more voter registrations than citizens old enough to register,” Fitton posted, alongside a YouTube video of him interviewing a Judicial Watch attorney. 

On Twitter, Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate called the claim “false” and posted a link to the county-by-county voter registration totals. 

“They are updated monthly and available online for everyone to see,” he wrote.

Fitton, a vocal supporter of President Donald Trump, has previously posted claims that independent fact-checkers have rated false and has claimed without evidence that Democrats want “to steal elections.” 

Fitton’s tweet has been retweeted more than 6,000 times and gained almost 9,000 likes. But it was Charlie Kirk’s tweet — which copied Fitton’s text without attribution — that went viral, earning almost 40,000 retweets and more than 56,000 likes. Kirk is the president of the conservative group Turning Point USA.

“Don’t let voter fraud steal the 2020 election,” Kirk added, urging users to retweet for a national Voter ID. 

Allegations of voter fraud are one of the most popular topics in voter misinformation campaigns. Last week, Twitter announced a new tool that lets users report tweets with misleading information about how to participate in the election. 

“We’re seeing a recent uptick in activity spreading false info about widespread voter fraud,” tweeted David Becker, the executive director of the Center for Election Innovation & Research, a nonprofit dedicated to election security and accessibility. “Again, the data on this is clear and conclusive — voter fraud is extremely rare, accounting for maybe dozens of votes out of hundreds of millions.”

884d ago / 7:39 PM UTC

Iowa will test whether Steyer's spending strategy works

884d ago / 7:38 PM UTC

DES MOINES, Iowa — With voting set to start in the 2020 Democratic presidential contests, billionaire Tom Steyer is about to face a critical test: whether the prodigious spending that has thus far buoyed his candidacy will win over enough voters to propel it into the next phase of the contest.  

The 62-year-old former hedge fund manager is also sharpening his message, casting himself as an uncompromising progressive in hopes of capitalizing on the distaste and discomfort a distinct coalition of voters feel toward the political establishment. But Steyer, well behind in most polls both nationally and in early voting states, needs to turn out more than just a handful of voters tired of the political system. 

By portraying himself as a leader with experience outside the Beltway, Steyer, in the final sprint through Iowa and other early states, aims to turn out voters who don’t always participate in elections — highlighting his investment in commonly overlooked communities.

Read more here.

Bloomberg: 'No question' that Trump is 'worried about me'

884d ago / 7:36 PM UTC

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg says there’s “no question” that President Donald Trump fears running against him in a general election, after a feud between the two New Yorkers escalated over the weekend. 

In an exclusive interview with NBC News in California, Bloomberg looked past his Democratic rivals who are competing in the Iowa caucuses Monday, insisting his own future in the race won’t be affected by the results of the caucuses. Instead, Bloomberg said, he’s “running against Donald Trump.” 

“I think there’s no question that he’s worried about me, because otherwise he wouldn’t respond,” Bloomberg says. “Donald doesn’t want to run against me because he knows I’ve taken him on, and every time, I’ve beaten him. I’m trying to tell the public what I did and what I will do and not get into a silly contest. He can’t run on his record.” 

Read more here.

Buttigieg: 'Everything’s come down to today'

884d ago / 7:34 PM UTC

Former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg gave volunteers some final words of encouragement Tuesday afternoon.

“Everything’s come down to today,” Buttigieg, who has bet big on Iowa, said to volunteers at a West Des Moines field office as they prepared to knock on doors in the final few hours before the caucuses. 

“Know that you are part of an absolute force that is sweeping through the state of Iowa right now,” Buttigieg continued. 

Buttigieg thanked his volunteers for their hard work, and took a moment to celebrate that, after "all of the debates, all of the appearances, all of the conversations," caucus day was here.

Bernie Sanders has edge in Google searches ahead of caucuses

884d ago / 7:26 PM UTC

More people searched on Google for Bernie Sanders in the Des Moines area in the 30 days leading up to Monday night's caucus than any other candidate, data from the company shows.

Sanders, who has seen a surge in the polls, outpaced Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg in the past months, according to Google Trends. Joe Biden came in fourth. 

The data looks at search volume on a relative basis. Des Moines residents showed a particular interest in search for Sanders on Saturday, the latest day for which data is available.  

Bloomberg campaigns in California as the rest of the field focuses on Iowa

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884d ago / 7:14 PM UTC

While the 2020 presidential candidates focus their attention on Monday's Iowa caucuses, former New York City mayor and businessman Michael Bloomberg is campaigning in a state with 10 times the number of delegates at stake: California. 

Bloomberg, who vowed to skip the early voting states that have traditionally been the starting point in the nominating process, is visiting California for the fourth time encouraging people to participate in the state’s mail-in and early voting periods that start this week.

More people are expected to vote early in California than are expected to participate in the Iowa caucuses Monday. Iowa determines just 1 percent of the delegates to the Democratic National Convention. 

Bloomberg’s counterprogramming to the Iowa caucuses highlights his unconventional campaign and his strategy to focus on delegate-rich states that vote later in the primary season.

California votes on Super Tuesday, March 3, one month after Iowa.

884d ago / 5:52 PM UTC

Bernie Sanders raised more online from Iowans than rest of Dem field

, and

884d ago / 5:43 PM UTC

DES MOINES, Iowa — As the clock ticks closer to Monday night's Iowa caucuses, new federal election filings from the Democratic fundraising platform ActBlue provide the latest glimpse as to each candidates' financial strength in the Hawkeye State. 

That new data shows that Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., raised more money online from Iowans, $703,000, than his Democratic presidential rivals in all of 2019. 

Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, raised the second most with $519,000, followed by Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren's $418,000, former Vice President Joe Biden's $251,000,  Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar's $185,000 and businessman Andrew Yang's $142,000. 

Read more here.

Trump urges Iowa Republicans to 'go out and Caucus today'

884d ago / 5:01 PM UTC

884d ago / 5:00 PM UTC

Conspiracy theories swirl over canceled Iowa poll, pushed by Sanders and Yang supporters

884d ago / 4:57 PM UTC

Supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Andrew Yang pushed false conspiracy theories on Twitter over the weekend tied to the canceled Des Moines Register poll, effectively commandeering a trending hashtag to convey the idea that their candidates are more successful than the public has been led to believe.

The Des Moines Register poll, a closely watched indicator of the Iowa race, was canceled after at least one interviewer apparently omitted Pete Buttigieg’s name from the randomized list of candidates the surveyor read. The political website Axios reported that the reason for the error was that an interviewer increased the font size of the questionnaire on a computer screen, leaving the bottom choice invisible.

But supporters of Sanders and Yang decided, without evidence, that the reason for the poll’s cancellation had to be that their candidates had high poll numbers, which the newspaper or the polling company wanted to suppress for some reason. (The Des Moines Register poll is actually one of the most respected polls in the country, known for its integrity and accuracy.)

Read the story.

For Iowa Chiefs' fans, caucusing comes after long night of Super Bowl celebration

884d ago / 4:51 PM UTC

CLIVE, Iowa — First, your adopted home team wins the Super Bowl. Then, the very next day, your state officially kicks off voting in the 2020 election.

For Kansas City Chiefs-loving Iowa Democrats, Monday morning will bring the highest of highs. But for many of them, it will also come with a nasty hangover; the product of having had a few too many watching their favorite team win a championship the night before.

But, at The Other Place, a dedicated Chiefs bar in Clive, about 15 miles west of Des Moines, Democratic-voting Kansas City Chiefs fans from Iowa, of varying levels of inebriation, vowed Sunday night that they’d caucus the next day, no matter the outcome of the game — and no matter how hungover they might be.

Read the story.

Election Confessions, Iowa edition: What Iowans have to say about the presidential candidates

884d ago / 4:48 PM UTC

Since 1971, Iowa’s voters have had the first say in who might be president, giving Iowans what some call an outsize influence on the presidential election.

Some in the state, with its 2.4 million voting-age adults, have confessed what they claim to be their inner thoughts on the cadre of presidential candidates at NBC News’ Election Confessions.

“I cannot vote for any of these!” one wrote. “I wish he would have got into the race earlier,” another wrote about now-departed candidate Steve Bullock, the governor of Montana.

More than 7,000 people from across the U.S. have shared around 60,000 confessions about the candidates, the country and its condition.

Here are some of the more notable confessions from the first-in-the-nation voting state.

884d ago / 4:08 PM UTC

Iowa caucuses : 5 things to watch as voters make their choices

884d ago / 4:07 PM UTC

DES MOINES, Iowa — We've finally arrived at the end of the beginning of a primary process that has been under way for over a year as Iowa Democrats take the first real vote on Monday night in choosing a candidate to face off against President Donald Trump.

The Democratic slate started as the biggest presidential field in history and the contest has been among its most volatile, making the caucuses and trajectory of the race that will come out of them especially important — and difficult to predict.

Eleven candidates are still in the running, though only seven have actively competed in Iowa.

A poor showing could abruptly end the hopes of not only some long-shots, but one or more of the leading candidates as well, most of whom are counting on an victory in Iowa or a strong showing to help power (and fund) the rest of their campaigns.

Here's what you need to watch Monday night when the caucus doors close at 8 p.m. ET.

What we learned from the Q4 candidate filings

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884d ago / 4:03 PM UTC

DES MOINES, Iowa — Friday’s new batch of campaign finance reports gave us one more look under the campaigns’ hoods before Monday’s Iowa caucuses. 

Some candidates already pushed out their top-line numbers from the fourth fundraising quarter, but the full reports give a comprehensive look at the financial health of these campaigns.

Here are some takeaways from the NBC Political Unit.

Yang turns to large number of out-of-state supporters in Iowa bid

and

884d ago / 4:01 PM UTC

DAVENPORT, Iowa — Andrew Yang has a lot of ground to make up in his ground game.

In a state with a quirky voting system where organizing is essential, presidential campaigns spend months recruiting and training local precinct captains across the state, who can make-or-break a candidate's chance of success on Monday in the highly personal caucus system.

But as many as half of Yang's precinct captains are not Iowans — an unusually high percentage, according to a Democrat familiar with the campaign's strategy.

That could make it difficult for Yang, who is running his first campaign for office, to hit the high bar he has set for himself in Iowa's first-in-the-nation caucuses. Polls show him at roughly sixth place.

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884d ago / 3:59 PM UTC

Warren works to calm rising electability fears pre-Iowa

884d ago / 3:58 PM UTC

Elizabeth Warren and her surrogates are working to calm growing fears about her perceived ability to defeat President Donald Trump as she falls behind in surveys to national front-runner Joe Biden and an ascendant Bernie Sanders in the final stretch before the Iowa caucuses.

Warren's dip in national and early-state polls comes as she loses ground gained in the fall on the question of "electability," a major factor for Democratic primary voters.

Quinnipiac poll released last week found that just 7 percent of Democrats believe Warren has the best chance to defeat Trump, down from 21 percent in October. Sanders was viewed by 19 percent of Democrats as the most electable, up from 7 percent in October. Biden led both with 44 percent, steady since he launched his campaign in April.

Hosting a tele-town hall with Iowans on Tuesday evening, Warren was asked by a supporter what the main point backers should use to encourage others to caucus for her. She quickly evoked electability.

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Iowa anxiety: Caucusgoers say the pressure to get it 'right' has never been higher

884d ago / 3:56 PM UTC

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa — Marty Wartick likes Pete Buttigieg, but she also likes the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses.

On one hand, she was convinced the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, was the best person to win back the Midwest. On the other hand, she worried he could fall flat after Iowa, when voting moves to more diverse states where Buttigieg polls in the single digits.

“I worry that he doesn’t poll as well in other states — and I know some people are looking for reasons to take the caucus away from us,” the retiree from Cedar Falls said at a University of Northern Iowa event for Buttigieg earlier this month.

With just days to go before the caucuses, Iowa voters like Wartick say they are struggling to get Iowa “right.” Many describe feeling anxious and pressured. These voters feel they need to balance electability against Trump with electability in the Democratic primary — qualities that some see at odds with each other.

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ANALYSIS: With Iowa on the line, Biden bets on what he doesn't believe

884d ago / 3:53 PM UTC

WAUKEE, Iowa — Voters usually want to know what a presidential candidate believes. Joe Biden is defining himself to Iowa caucus-goers by what he doesn't believe.

"I do not believe we're the dark, angry nation that Donald Trump sees in his tweets," the former vice president said as he unveiled his stretch-run pitch in a school gym here Thursday morning.

"I don't believe we're the nation that rips babies from the arms of their mothers and thinks that's OK. I don't believe we're the nation that builds walls and whips up hysteria about an invasion of immigrants that's going to do terrible things to us. I do not believe we're the nation that embraces white supremacists and hatred, as he has done."

Finding himself at an unusual crossroad — the leading contender for the Democratic nomination in national polling but at risk of being hobbled by poor showings here Monday and in New Hampshire on Feb. 11 — Biden chose the day the president arrived for a rally in Des Moines to fully drape his candidacy in the theme that has more subtly animated him since he entered the race in April.

Biden is running as the antidote to Trump — no less and little more.

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With live music and booze, Sanders draws massive crowd to party-like Iowa campaign rally

884d ago / 3:51 PM UTC

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Fans danced gleefully to music while guzzling beer. Smiles abounded and deafening cheers arose without warning. And, in the restroom, someone was smoking what smelled like marijuana.

Yes, it was a concert. Yes, it was a party.

But it was also a rally for Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., in the critical early voting state of Iowa, where Democrats will hold their first-in-the-nation caucuses.

The massive rally — the Sanders campaign said 3,000 people were in attendance — underscores the groundswell of support, especially from young voters, that Sanders has received during his 2020 presidential run and suggests he’s in prime position for a strong finish in Monday night’s caucuses.

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884d ago / 3:46 PM UTC

Iowa still bars ex-felons from voting, frustrating Democratic caucusgoers

884d ago / 3:45 PM UTC

DES MOINES, Iowa — With the first nominating contest of the 2020 election a day away, Democratic voters here are voicing frustration that their first-in-the-nation caucus state is the only one that still outright bans former felons from voting without prior approval from the governor.

Under Iowa law, people with felony convictions who have completed their prison sentences cannot vote unless they apply directly to the governor for the right to be restored. Voting rights advocates — and Democratic voters — say it's a major blemish on a state that prides itself on helping the nation pick its presidential candidates.

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Biden on the bus: Inside the former vice president's final Iowa pitch

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884d ago / 3:43 PM UTC

NEWTON, Iowa — Riding through Iowa in Joe Biden’s “Soul of the Nation” bus can be a disorienting experience. The same solid blue exterior that makes his rolling campaign headquarters conspicuous on the road makes it nearly impossible for those inside to see anything outside. One passenger this week described it as similar to being on a dark airplane, shades down, endlessly taxiing but never taking off.

It's a sensation that only deepens the feeling of uncertainty about the campaign’s future. Nine months after Biden launched his third White House bid, his campaign is well aware of how the trajectory of the campaign could change in an instant at the caucuses here Monday night — a strong finish accelerating his path to the Democratic nomination, or a disappointing finish suggesting the beginning of the end of a distinguished career in elected office.

In an exclusive interview with NBC News this week as he rode between stops, Biden himself remained upbeat about his chances here even as he stressed it’s just the first step of what he expects to be a long nomination fight.

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884d ago / 3:40 PM UTC

For Warren, 'unity' is more than a talking point

884d ago / 3:39 PM UTC

IOWA CITY, Iowa — As she makes her closing pitch to Iowa voters, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has increasingly stressed the need for party unity.

“I've been building a campaign from the beginning that's not a campaign that's narrow or not a campaign that says us and nobody else," Warren said at a rally in Cedar Rapids Saturday. "It's a campaign that says, 'come on in because we are in this fight together. This fight is our fight.'”

Her comments come after a surrogate for Bernie Sanders pointedly joined in with a group of the Vermont Senator's supporters to boo Hillary Clinton Friday night.

But Warren's push is more than just a reactionary move, there's some data behind it as well. 

Make or break: Why Iowa matters in the Democratic race for president

884d ago / 3:37 PM UTC

By now, the ritual is familiar. Democratic presidential candidates traverse Iowa while their campaigns assemble and unleash grassroots armies to pursue voters one by one. Reporters from all over the country, even the globe, track all of it and wait on every new poll for a sign that someone is surging or stumbling. National television networks prepare for caucus night, when they’ll devote hours of live coverage to the results — results that will bolster some and devastate others.

The outsize clout of the Iowa caucuses, on Feb. 3 this year, has everything to do with a quirk of history that put the state at the head of the Democratic line in the 1972 nominating process. Since then, the caucuses evolved into the national political/media phenomenon we know today. This year is the 11th competitive race for the Democratic presidential nomination since ’72, and Iowa once again stands to play an enormous role in winnowing the field and clarifying who is — and isn’t — a legitimate contender.

The 2020 edition of the caucuses, though, features more uncertainty than usual. 

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