The Corner

What If Hillary Clinton Didn’t Win Iowa?

Is Iowa’s Democratic contest over? Maybe not.

“Right now we’re going through every precinct and double-checking numbers and we’re doing our due diligence, and the senator wants us to see what we find before we make any decisions moving forward,” Sanders spokeswoman Rania Batrice told The World-Herald.

This morning, the Des Moines Register editorial board ripped into Democratic Party officials and organizers, essentially declaring the results can’t be trusted: 

What happened Monday night at the Democratic caucuses was a debacle, period. Democracy, particularly at the local party level, can be slow, messy and obscure. But the refusal to undergo scrutiny or allow for an appeal reeks of autocracy.

The Iowa Democratic Party must act quickly to assure the accuracy of the caucus results, beyond a shadow of a doubt.

First of all, the results were too close not to do a complete audit of results. Two-tenths of 1 percent separated Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. A caucus should not be confused with an election, but it’s worth noting that much larger margins trigger automatic recounts in other states.

Second, too many questions have been raised. Too many accounts have arisen of inconsistent counts, untrained and overwhelmed volunteers, confused voters, cramped precinct locations, a lack of voter registration forms and other problems. Too many of us, including members of the Register editorial board who were observing caucuses, saw opportunities for error amid Monday night’s chaos.

You might think the state Democratic Party would be eager to clear up any questions about the results. You would be wrong. Democratic state party chair Andy McGuire  refuses to review the records of the precinct chairs with the Sanders campaign. But surely there’s no reason to think McGuire is biased in favor of Hillary or against Sanders… oh, wait:

Bernie, we have our differences, but it looks like you’re getting a raw deal here. 

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