The Iowa caucuses were marred by technology troubles on Monday night that stalled the release of the pivotal competition’s results.
In a statement, the Iowa Democratic Party said it had found “inconsistencies in the reporting of three sets of results” from a mobile app used to collect data.
The party confirmed in a statement that the issue was “simply a reporting issue” and that there was no hack or intrusion.
In an update on Tuesday, the party told campaign officials it would release more than half of the caucus results at 5 p.m. ET.
And while the Iowa caucus boasts only 49 delegates, the first-in-the-country contest is important because it allows candidates to build momentum for their campaigns.
“We know from starting in 1976 forward that the candidates who do well in Iowa end up having an enormous amount of momentum going forward in terms of being able to raise money, in terms of media coverage, in terms of, you know, just momentum and excitement and so forth that they end up doing well,” Karen Kedrowski, a political science professor at Iowa State University, told Global News.
In a series of tweets Monday evening, Ian Sams, former national press secretary for Sen. Kamala Harris, said the later the results from Iowa are released, the less of a “bump” the eventual winner will receive.
“Fewer hours pre-Trump State of the Union and Senate impeachment vote to seize attention and, thus, momentum,” he wrote.
In a previous interview, Matthew Lebo, chair of political science at Western University, told Global News that in the primaries, this momentum is “hugely important.”
Lebo said candidates who do well in the first two contests will receive a “huge boost” while others will “lose momentum immediately.”
But even without official results or the usual, accompanying boost, Democratic candidates began spinning how they felt the night went.
The Bernie Sanders campaign released what it said were internal numbers collected at 40 per cent of precincts, showing him in first ahead of Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden in fourth place.
“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,” he told cheering supporters.
Buttigieg told his supporters in Iowa that “we don’t know the results” but that he was looking ahead to the New Hampshire contest.
“By all indications, we are going to New Hampshire victorious,” he said.
On to New Hampshire
A number of candidates, including Amy Klobuchar, Warren and Biden, had already headed to New Hampshire, where the next primary contest is scheduled to take place on Feb. 11.
Sanders was scheduled to head there Tuesday morning.
Speaking to supporters at an airport in Manchester, N.H., Klobuchar called the delay in result dissemination a “minor problem” but said she knows her team “did incredibly well.”
Early on Tuesday, Warren said her campaign organizers were leaving Iowa.
Even without results, she told reporters: “I feel good.”
According to Sams, because Iowa is “unlikely to produce a clear winner,” the race in New Hampshire “couldn’t be hotter.”
“Keep in mind that there are nearly two full weeks between NH and Nevada,” he wrote on Twitter. “That’s a lot of time for a real result to saturate.”
Trump claims victory
In a series of tweets, U.S. President Donald Trump took aim at the Democratic Party over the technical flub, calling the caucus an “unmitigated disaster.”
“Nothing works, just like they ran the Country,” he wrote.
He also took the opportunity to claim triumph.
“The only person that can claim a very big victory in Iowa last night is ‘Trump,'” he said.
Trump’s son Eric also took to Twitter, claiming the process had been rigged.
“Mark my words, they are rigging this thing,” he wrote. “This is why people don’t want the Dems running our country.”
— With files from Reuters and the Associated Press