Since 1972, the Iowa caucuses have been the first electoral test on the road to each party’s presidential nomination.
But some Democrats think it’s time to rejigger the order.
“The caucuses’ reputation has been damaged by high barriers to participation, a dearth of racial diversity, the rightward drift in the state’s electorate and a leftward drift in the Democratic participants,” The Washington Post reported. “The state party’s inability to count the results in 2020 only deepened dismay in the party.”
In 2020, the Democratic Party’s caucuses ran well past midnight with no precincts reporting the results, allegedly due to a faulty app. President Donald Trump and the Republican Party were handed victory on a silver platter during their own caucus as the nation watched Democrats implode under the weight of gross incompetence.
In December, an audit commissioned by the Iowa Democratic Party placed blame for the caucus debacle at the feet of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). The DNC decided mere weeks before the caucuses to demand a conversion tool for the app that the state party planned to use for reporting results so the DNC could view the raw data in real-time to ensure calculations were correct, according to Politico.
But the conversion tool, which the state party was not involved in developing, contained coding errors and malfunctioned on the night of the caucus, leading the DNC to demand the state party stop reporting their own caucus results, even though the state party’s own app was later found to have been working as intended, The Daily Wire reported. Voters in Iowa and across the nation were then left wondering when official caucus results would begin to roll in.
“The DNC’s interjection was the catalyst for the resulting chaos in the boiler room and in the IDP’s attempts to manually collect and confirm caucus results by hand,” read the audit, according to Politico. “If the DNC had not interjected itself into the results reporting process based on its erroneous data conversion, caucus night could conceivably have proceeded according to the IDP’s initial plan.”
Former Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez has openly expressed opposition to Iowa keeping its first-in-the-nation status.
“We have to be honest with ourselves, and Iowa is not representative of America,” Perez said in an interview last week, the Post reported. “We need a primary process that is reflective of today’s demographics in the Democratic Party.”
Even President Joe Biden — who won the party’s nomination in 2020 even though he finished fourth in Iowa — has noted the lack of diversity in the state, which is more than 90% white and just 3.7% black, according to World Population Review.
“It is not suited to normal people, people that actually have daily lives,” said South Carolina State Sen. Dick Harpootlian, a former chairman of that state’s Democratic Party and a longtime Biden ally, the Post reported.
“I just think the caucus process as it exists in Iowa is not suitable in 21st-century America,” he said.
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