• Maeve Schaffer

Chaos in Iowa is a boon to Trump



Tuesday marked the first caucuses in one of the most significant primary seasons in modern American history. The candidate that wins will go on to face Donald Trump in November and attempt to deny him a second term, and the Democrats are already screwing it up. Caucuses and primaries are the electoral methods both parties use to select their nominee for President, and thirteen states still use the caucus method; it involves thousands of small meetings, confusing processes and intense book-keeping to try and award delegates to the most popular candidates. Never before has a caucus gone as wrong as it did last Tuesday in Iowa. The first caucus night was “an absolute clusterf*ck from top to bottom” according to former Obama staffer and Democratic pundit Dan Pfeiffer. Local party officials were untrained in the use of a new result-reporting app that malfunctioned and misreported data and results causing chaos and uncertainty. Instead of results, Tuesday night saw victory speeches from most of the major candidates, allegations of cheating, and several conspiracy theories. This speculation isn't surprising, as in 2016 the DNC favoured Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders in the primary process, alienating some of the young, progressive voters the party is hoping to turnout this year in order to beat Trump. The winner coming out of Iowa traditionally gets a jump in fundraising, media attention and overall hype; winning Iowa is what set Barack Obama on the path to the White House in 2008. The chaos of Tuesday robbed the winning candidate, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who won't get that press bump or boost in fundraising. The real winner from Iowa's caucus night was Donald Trump, who will capitalize on the 'Democrats in disarray' narrative as two polls have his approval rating as high as it ever was since he took office, 49%. If the President wins 49% of the popular vote on election day 2020, he wins another term almost without a doubt; the Democratic Party had better get it together if they hope to compete in November.

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