Thursday, February 4, 2016

THE PRAIRIE EDITOR: Did Bernie Sanders Win The Iowa Caucus?

It could well be that Bernie Sanders won the Iowa Caucus
popular vote, and not Hillary Clinton, as originally reported.
The difficulty in determining this is the result of the Iowa
Democratic Party refusal so far to disclose the popular
Democratic vote at the February 1 caucus. Instead, the party
reported the totals of who won the individual precincts across
the state. (The Republican Party reports the popular vote in
their caucus.) This produces a situation similar to the
electoral college in the November elections. The person who
is elected president then, according to the U.S. constitution,
must win a majority of electoral votes cast by the states in
December. Several times, most recently in 2000, the person
receiving the most votes did not win the election (cf. Bush vs.

In effect, the individual Democratic precincts in Iowa act as
electors. But the precincts do vary considerably in size. Thus,
a small rural precinct with 20 voters count as one vote as does
an urban precincts which had a turnout of 500 voters. In fact,
Bernie Sanders carried young Iowa voters by a large margin
over Hillary Clinton, and turnout was reported as very heavy
in Ames (Iowa State University) and Iowa City (University of
Iowa), not to mention the many other college and university
campuses throughout the state.

The only reasonable conclusion that can be drawn from the
Democratic Party’s refusal to disclose the popular vote, in
light of the very close vote (a virtual tie) counting only precincts,
is that Mr. Sanders did indeed carry Iowa on February 1.

The state’s largest and most important daily newspaper, the
Des Moines Register, has now called on the Democratic Party to
conduct a recount. (There were also 6 precincts that were
reportedly tied.)

In 2012, in the Republican Iowa caucus, it was initially reported
that Mitt Romney won the election, but a recount revealed that
Rick Santorum had actually won it. This recount was finished
too late to help Mr. Santorum’s campaign.

The Democratic Party and its voters were understandably
upset in 2000 when their presidential candidate received more
than half a million votes more than the Republican nominee,
and lost the election. In light of Mr. Sanders request for
disclosure of the popular vote, and the Register’s call for a
recount, the integrity of the Democratic Iowa caucus is at stake.
A recount and disclosure of the popular vote is the only way now
to resolve the doubt.

Copyright (c) 2016 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.

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