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Iowa caucuses: Pete Buttigieg takes lead in partial results

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Pete Buttigieg has taken the lead in the Iowa caucuses, according to partial results from the chaotic first vote in the race to pick a Democratic White House candidate.

Iowa’s Democratic Party said results from 62% of precincts show Mr Buttigieg on 26.9% with Bernie Sanders on 25.1%.

Elizabeth Warren was third on 18.3% and Joe Biden fourth on 15.6%.

The eventual nominee will challenge President Donald Trump, a Republican, in November’s White House election.

Amy Klobuchar was on 12.6%, and Andrew Yang on 1.1%, according to the other preliminary results released on Tuesday evening from all of Iowa’s 99 counties. Tom Steyer and Tulsi Gabbard were on less than 1%.

But the state party has still not declared a winner from Monday’s vote, which was plagued by technical glitches.

The results represent the share of delegates needed to clinch the party nomination under America’s quirky political system. Iowa awards only 41 of the 1,991 delegates required to become the Democratic White House nominee.

But in the popular vote count, the partial results showed Mr Sanders leading with 28,220 ballots, while Mr Buttigieg was second at 27,030.

Ms Warren was third with 22,254, followed by Mr Biden at 14,176 and Ms Klobuchar at 13,357.

Iowa was the first contest in a string of nationwide state-by-state votes, known as primaries and caucuses, that will culminate in the crowning of a Democratic White House candidate at the party national convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in July.

Eleven candidates remain in a Democratic field that has been whittled down from more than two dozen.

Where did it all go wrong?

Iowa Democratic party chairman Troy Price told a news conference on Tuesday evening the fiasco had been “simply unacceptable”.

“I apologise deeply for this,” he added. “This was a coding error,” but the data was secure and fully verified, he insisted, as he promised a thorough review.

State party officials earlier said the problem was not the result of “a hack or an intrusion”.

Officials were being dispatched across the Hawkeye state to retrieve hard-copy results.

They were matching those numbers against results reported from precincts via a mobile app that many precinct captains reported had crashed.

Voters flocked on Monday to more than 1,600 caucus sites, including libraries, high schools and community centres.

President Trump said earlier that the Iowa Democratic caucuses were an “unmitigated disaster”.

Who is Pete Buttigieg?

If elected, 38-year-old Mr Buttigieg would be the first openly gay US president.

He is the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, a city of just over 100,000 people..

He is a former Harvard and Oxford University Rhodes scholar, who served as a military intelligence officer in Afghanistan and used to work for global management consultancy McKinsey.

Rivals say Mr Buttigieg, who is younger than Macaulay Culkin and Britney Spears, is too inexperienced to be US president.

But he says he is transformative outsider who can break the gridlock in Washington and defeat President Trump.

Campaigning in Laconia, New Hampshire, on Tuesday evening, Mr Buttigieg welcomed the preliminary results.

“A campaign that started a year ago with four staff members, no name recognition, no money, just a big idea, a campaign that some said should have no business even making this attempt, has taken its place at the front of this race to replace the current president with a better vision for the future,” he said.

Flames lick at Biden’s heels

We finally have some 2020 Iowa caucuses results to talk about. And they’re going to generate a lot of talk – and hand-wringing.

There are clear winners, as Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg can both claim some kind of victory, depending on how the final tabulations come in.

There’s also a clear loser – Joe Biden. He entered Monday leading in some polls and hoping for a strong showing that would put to bed concerns that he is a flawed front-runner.

Instead those concerns are wide awake and pacing the room.

Unlike candidates like Mr Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Mr Buttigieg, the Biden campaign coffers are thin – and this Iowa performance isn’t opening any cash spigots.

It could have been worse for the former vice-president – he could have had to give a fourth-place concession speech on Monday night – but the end result is the same.

He was unable to land a knock-out blow on fellow moderate Amy Klobuchar, while Mr Buttigieg and Mr Sanders both exit Iowa strengthened, suggesting Mr Biden could be staring at a third-place finish – or worse – in New Hampshire.

Until proven otherwise, Biden still has his southern-state firewall, based on support from elderly and black voters. But the flames are licking at his heels.

How have the other campaigns responded?

After pumping nearly $800m (£610m) into campaigning in Iowa, the rival campaigns expressed dismay at the debacle.

But aides to Mr Sanders, a Vermont senator, welcomed his strong position in the preliminary results.

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Media caption‘The story of the night is… this system sucks’

Sanders adviser Jeff Weaver said: “We are gratified that in the partial data released so far it’s clear that in the first and second round more people voted for Bernie than any other candidate in the field.”

Ms Warren, a Massachusetts senator, and former US Vice-President Biden earlier on Tuesday questioned the state party’s decision to release partial results.

Biden campaign senior adviser Symone Sanders told reporters: “What we’re saying is there are some inconsistencies, that the process, the integrity, is at stake.”

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Online conspiracy theories flourish after Iowa caucus fiasco

CHICAGO (AP) — Monday night could not have gone better for online troublemakers who have spent years propagating false or misleading conspiracy theories on the internet that the U.S. election is rigged or vulnerable to tampering.

The delayed election results from the Iowa caucuses revealed some Democratic candidates’ supporters are so distrustful of the outcome that they peppered the internet with unproven claims that accused the Democratic Party of corruption by attempting to tilt the election in favor of a single candidate.

President Donald Trump and his supporters seized on that distrust by sending tweets Monday night with the hashtag #RiggedElection. Trump’s own sons shouted “Rigged!” at an Iowa campaign event. And Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham suggested in a tweet that the caucus issues were the result of a “Bernie blowout.”

It’s the type of conspiracy theory that experts fear will dog this year’s presidential race until Election Day.

“Democracy depends on the losers accepting election results,” said University of California, Irvine, Professor Richard Hasen, whose book “Election Meltdown” was published Tuesday in what he said was an ominous coincidence. “Now we’re starting off the election season with seeds of doubt, which is terrible.”

In recent months, social media users have promoted conspiracy theories around the legitimacy of election results around the country, from a gubernatorial race in Kentucky to statehouse races in Virginia.

The tweets Monday began spreading minutes after the Iowa Democratic Party announced it was reviewing results for “quality control.” The app used by the Iowa Democratic Party to collect results Monday experienced technical glitches that left the caucus results in limbo through Tuesday.

“Quality control = rigged?” Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale said in a tweet that has since been shared and liked more than 20,000 times.

As the delay of final results continued into Tuesday, social media users spread theories of complex schemes that were deployed to keep the results hidden in order undermine certain Democratic candidates such as Sen. Bernie Sanders. Many of the tweets suggested the Democratic Party or the Democratic National Convention intentionally bungled the caucus results, even though the Iowa Democratic Party administered Monday’s caucus.

“Iowa is just the start guys,” wrote one Twitter user, who has a profile picture of himself in a Bernie Sanders t-shirt. “The Democratic Party will not allow Bernie to win.”

The online conspiracy theories, in some cases, were based on easily debunked or misleading claims.

For example, Facebook and Twitter posts falsely suggested that former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, Sanders’ opponent in the 2016 primary, had a hand in developing the ill-fated app used to collect the Iowa results. Further fueling that distrust was that three of the senior executives at Shadow Inc., which created the app, previously worked for Clinton’s failed campaign.

Some posts, which were shared thousands of times, accused former Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook of creating the app.

In a tweet, Mook said he “did not have” anything to do with building the caucus app. Mook did not immediately return The Associated Press’ request for comment.

Other online posts placed blamed the problem on a new culprit: Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, the former South Bend, Indiana, mayor who unsuccessfully ran to be the Democratic party’s chairman three years ago.

Some social media users insisted he had pulled off a scam to delay the results with the help of party insiders. Others wrongly asserted that Buttigieg’s campaign had developed the app used for the Iowa caucus. Other social media posts pointed out that the founder of a nonprofit organization that launched Shadow Inc. last year is married to a senior adviser for Pete Buttigieg’s 2020 campaign.

By Tuesday morning, #MayorCheat was trending on Twitter, where it was mentioned more than 120,000 times by the afternoon.

The hashtag was first sent by verified Twitter accounts, according to analysis by Ben Nimmo, a disinformation and security expert for social media analysis firm Graphika. As of Tuesday, there were no signs that foreign accounts were promoting the hashtag, he added.

“This is Americans trolling Americans,” Nimmo said. “That’s the really worrying thing in 2020.”

That misinformation is partly rooted in the fact that Buttigieg’s campaign has paid Shadow Inc., the company behind the Iowa caucus app, for software.

Buttigieg’s campaign paid $42,500 to Shadow Inc. for text messaging software in July. Other Democrats, including former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and the Texas Democratic Party, have contracted with Shadow for similar services, federal campaign finance data show.

The Buttigieg campaign did not help develop the app used in Iowa, a campaign spokesman confirmed Tuesday to the AP.

In a statement on Twitter, Shadow Inc. apologized for the delays and confirmed it had “contracted with the Iowa Democratic Party to build a caucus reporting mobile app for local officials to use” Monday.

State fundraising reports from Iowa’s Democratic Party show party officials paid more than $63,000 to the same firm in November and December for “professional fees.”

The Iowa results were backed up by paper ballots, which is what the Iowa Democratic Party is using to verify the results. Figures reflecting 62% of precincts in the state were released Tuesday afternoon.

Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, a Democrat who is vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, warned that foreign groups looking to destabilize the U.S. could try to exploit the doubts and fears spread online over the Iowa results. He said the Iowa episode should serve as an “early warning sign” that Congress, local election officials and social media platforms must do more to protect election integrity.

“It does … reinforce the fact, as we have started to see over the internet, conspiracy theories pop up, that whether domestic or foreign efforts to undermine confidence in our elections, that those threats are out there,” Warner said to reporters Tuesday.

In November, for example, social media posters exaggerated small-scale voting problems in Kentucky to suggest the results of the governor’s races were spoiled by dead people voting or misprinted ballots. The now-former Republican Gov. Matt Bevin requested a recanvass of the results because of what he said were “irregularities” after the initial vote tally put his re-election bid behind by 5,000 votes — but he refused to provide evidence of those problems. Bevins, a Republican, later conceded to now-Gov. Andy Beshear, a Democrat.

These type of cases show it’s important for the presidential candidates to foster trust in the system among their supporters, said Charles Stewart III, a political science professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“I really wish and hope that the candidates will recognize that if they don’t defend the system when it can be defended that they are doing harm to democracy and doing harm to devalue the nomination they’re seeking,” Stewart said.

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Kelly McParland: Real winner to emerge from great Iowa tire fire might be Michael Bloomberg

The world has been given a close-up look at America’s quirky approach to picking its leaders — and it isn’t pretty.

The Iowa caucuses have always been an odd, mildly amusing and faintly ridiculous way to measure the relative popularity of would-be nominees as the race for the White House gets serious. A small, Midwestern state, 90 per cent white and best-known for its cornfields, gets together every four years for a sort of mass hoe-down in which neighbours gather in family rooms, basements and school gyms for a good old chat and some good-natured kibitzing while they try to talk each other into sitting on one side of the room or another, based on which of several candidates they most like, kind-of, though they’re always open to persuasion.

On Monday it exploded in a kind of rural Armageddon, as three years of preparation ended in chaos. The first results arrived almost 24 hours late, and then only 62 per cent were available. Troy Price, the Iowa Democratic Party chair, apologized. “We hit a stumbling block,” he told a Tuesday press conference, acknowledging the results “were unacceptable.”

U.S. President Donald Trump must have loved it.

When at last the first numbers were released, former mayor Pete Buttigieg was on top with 27 per cent of delegates, just ahead of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 25 per cent. Former vice president Joe Biden was a surprisingly distant fourth with 16 per cent, just three points ahead of Sen. Amy Klobuchar. In the popular vote, Biden at 14,000 had just half of Sanders’ leading total.

As the pundits and panels swing into belated action, we still don’t know precisely what went so wrong. It was an app, we were told. The party that wants to run the country starting next January — possibly including a massive makeover of the trillion-dollar health industry — couldn’t come up with a workable app to collect and report the results. Stymied in attempts to resort to a backup — the good old telephone — volunteers found themselves sitting helplessly on overburdened call lines before being abruptly disconnected. You could feel the seething anger between the lines of a letter emailed by the Biden camp to the responsible party officials, demanding a full explanation and a chance to respond before any results were released. God knows how much time and money the candidates poured into preparations for this night, only to reinforce suspicions that Democrats are not an organization ready for prime time.

Donald Trump must have loved it. It’s easy to picture him on the hotline to Moscow with his pal Putin: “Hey Vlad, you watching this? Get the champagne ready.” For all the attention heaped on the moment by networks desperate to create some drama, the online news site Axios reported that “social media interactions” over the previous week totalled 208 million for the death of Kobe Bryant versus four million for Iowa, which placed sixth behind Bryant, the Wuhan virus, Trump’s impeachment, the Super Bowl and the Grammys. Considering the mess the Democrats made of their moment, maybe that’s a good thing.

For all the farce, the implications from Monday’s cock-up are deeply significant. Iowans interviewed before and during the voting stated repeatedly that their biggest concern was finding the candidate who could defeat Trump. They didn’t want to make a mistake by picking the wrong person. Pretty much Biden’s entire campaign, unimpressive as it’s been, is based on identifying him as the safe bet, the one guy who’d be able to defeat Trump and “make America normal again.” After Iowa, you have to wonder whether the country would recognize normal if it bumped into it on the street.

The Iowa Democratic party caucus app is displayed on an iPhone outside Iowa Democratic party headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa, on Feb. 4.

Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

If there is a single Democrat who might claim some measure of reassurance from Iowa, it could be Michael Bloomberg, the former New York mayor who skipped the caucuses and the upcoming New Hampshire primary in favour of focusing on Super Tuesday, the day in March on which 16 states and territories hold simultaneous primaries. Bloomberg has poured more than US$200 million of his personal fortune into advertising, seven times higher than any previous presidential hopeful from either party and more than the other candidates combined. On Tuesday, in the wake of Iowa, he reportedly authorized campaign officials to double it.

It seems to be working. Even before Monday’s fiasco, Bloomberg had been moving up the popularity ladder, climbing into third spot in some national polls, overtaking Buttigieg in key states as Texas and North Carolina, and moving ahead of Warren into third spot in Florida.

Bloomberg spent Monday campaigning in California, which offers 415 pledged delegates for the Democratic nomination, against 41 in Iowa. “California is a very big state with a lot of delegates, so you’d obviously come here more,” he noted laconically. Like, why didn’t anyone else notice? A Reuters poll indicates he trails just Biden and Sanders on a national basis, and is drawing support from a broad coalition including “baby boomers, high-income earners, rural Americans and Democrats without a college degree.” Many of those are the same people Biden is counting on, setting up the possibility of a choice between the two for voters seeking a moderate they can choose over Sanders and his fellow left-wing firebrand Elizabeth Warren.

Perhaps Iowa will trigger that choice. It might be the only silver lining to emerge from the caucuses debacle. And maybe by 2024 Democrats can come up with a more adult means of launching primary season than Monday’s tire fire.

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Buttigieg takes lead in first Iowa results after presidential caucus chaos

DES MOINES, Iowa (Reuters) – Pete Buttigieg took the lead in the first batch of long-delayed results from the chaotic Iowa Democratic Party caucuses on Tuesday, and former Vice President Joe Biden trailed badly in fourth place with about 62% of precincts reporting.

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders was in second place and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren in third in the first results, released nearly 21 hours after Iowans poured into more than 1,600 public locations to begin the five-month process of picking a challenger to Republican President Donald Trump.

In Tuesday’s first results of state delegate equivalents, the data traditionally reported to determine the winner, Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, had 26.9%, Sanders had 25.1%, Warren 18.3% and Biden 15.6%. Senator Amy Klobuchar was fifth at 12.6%.

Sanders was ahead in the popular vote, which is not used to determine the delegates who will cast ballots at the Democratic National Convention in July.

It was a clumsy start to 2020 voting, after a bad-tempered presidential campaign four years ago was hit by accusations of hacking and disinformation that led to a two-year federal investigation into election meddling by Russia.

Officials blamed inconsistencies related to a new mobile app used for vote counting for the unusual delay in Iowa, the state that traditionally kicks off a U.S. presidential election campaign that culminates this year on Nov. 3.

The uncertainty enraged Democrats worried it would only strengthen Trump’s bid for re-election and prompted some Democratic candidates’ campaigns to question whether the results would be legitimate.

“As leader of the party I apologize deeply for this,” Iowa State Party Chairman Troy Price told reporters. “We’ve been working day and night to make sure these results are accurate.”

Republicans asked how Democrats could run the country if they could not conduct a caucus, while Trump mocked the Democrats on Twitter, calling the delay an “unmitigated disaster.”

Before the results were released, campaign aides for Biden cited gross failures in the caucuses.

Slideshow (21 Images)

“What we’re saying is there are some inconsistencies, that the process, the integrity, is at stake. And the Iowa Democratic Party needs to check that data, check it again, check it a third time, check it a fourth time, because it’s important to get it right,” Biden campaign senior adviser Symone Sanders told reporters.

“It looks like a disorganized mess,” said Jessica Leonard, 41, who runs a food truck in Winterset, Iowa, and normally votes Democratic.

Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt, Joseph Ax, Tim Reid, Simon Lewis, Jarrett Renshaw and Ginger Gibson in Iowa, Michael Martina in New Hampshire and Amanda Becker in Washington; Writing by John Whitesides; Editing by Howard Goller

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7 House Democrats To Boycott Trump’s State of the Union as Impeachment Falters

At least seven House Democrats planned to boycott President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address Tuesday night, as the Senate is expected to vote to acquit the commander in chief in his impeachment trial the next day.

The seven include Reps. Al Green of Texas, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Steve Cohen of Tennessee, Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, Hank Johnson of Georgia and Frederica Wilson of Florida, The Hill reported.

“Because of an impeached, reckless, ruthless, lawless, shameless, corrupt, & unapologetically bigoted president – who is still engaging in a coverup, the state of the House, the state of the Senate, and the #StateOfTheUnion are divided. I will NOT attend #SOTU2020,” Green tweeted Tuesday morning.

On Tuesday afternoon, Ocasio-Cortez wrote, “After much deliberation, I have decided that I will not use my presence at a state ceremony to normalize Trump’s lawless conduct & subversion of the Constitution.

TRENDING: Super Bowl Halftime Show Contained a Subtle Anti-Trump Immigration Message

“None of this is normal, and I will not legitimize it. Consequently, I will not be attending the State of the Union.”

Green has been one of Trump’s most outspoken critics and was the first member of Congress to offer a resolution calling for the president’s impeachment in December 2017, over a year before special counsel Robert Mueller completed his Russia investigation or a whistleblower filed a complaint regarding Trump’s call with Ukraine’s president last summer.

The Texas Democrat accused Trump of “associating the majesty and dignity of the presidency with causes rooted in white supremacy, bigotry, racism, anti-Semitism, white nationalism, or neo-Nazism on one or more of the following occasions.”

Green offered further impeachment resolutions in January 2018 and July 2019.

In May 2019, following the release of the Mueller report, the Texas Democrat said, “I’m concerned if we don’t impeach this president, he will get re-elected.”

RELATED: Iowa Democrats Provide Updated Timeline for Releasing Caucus Results: ‘Majority of Results’ by Early Evening

Johnson tweeted on Monday regarding his decision to skip the State of the Union, “During normal times, I would consider it my duty to attend and hear the President’s agenda for the upcoming year. Unfortunately, these are not normal times.”

The Senate is expected to vote Wednesday to acquit Trump of the two impeachment articles brought by the House.

Do you think the State of the Union is currently strong?

Then-President Bill Clinton delivered his 1999 State of Union address while the Senate continued to conduct its impeachment trial against him.

The Associated Press reported at the time that a handful of Republican lawmakers chose not to attend the speech in light of the impeachment proceedings.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told The New York Times that she and her fellow Democrats attending the speech Tuesday night would treat Trump “as a guest in our House — and we hope he will behave as a guest in our House.”

“But we never have that expectation,” she added.

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

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Some Iowa Caucus Results Are Finally Out, and They Look Bad for Biden

DES MOINES — Finally, some actual numbers.

Nearly a full day after the Iowa Caucuses kicked off, the state Democratic Party got its act together enough to report out the first real results of the 2020 election cycle. And at first blush, they don’t look good for Joe Biden.

Those numbers strengthen what the campaigns themselves seemed to believe on election night. With 62% of precincts finally counted and released, Biden is in fourth place in both the raw vote count and the final tally of allocated state-level delegates.

With those limited caucuses reporting, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg had a slight lead among the final state state delegate equivalent count, the official measure of who wins the caucuses, with 27% to 25% for Sen. Bernie Sanders, 18% for Sen. Elizabeth Warren, 16% for Biden and 13% for Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

On the initial voter ballot preference — a measure of the original raw vote — Sanders led at 24% to 21% for Buttigieg, 19% for Warren, 15% for Biden and 13% for Klobuchar.

READ: Here’s the Shadow Inc. app that failed in Iowa last night

Those results, however belated and limited, look like bad news for the former vice president. He camped out in Iowa for the majority of the two weeks before the caucuses, taking advantage of many of his rivals being stuck in D.C. for the impeachment trial as he aimed to score an outright victory in the state.

The numbers dropped shortly after Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Troy Price finally took some public questions about what the hell had happened on caucus night — and apologized for the major SNAFU.

“The reporting of the results and circumstances surrounding the 2020 Iowa Democratic Party caucuses were unacceptable. As chair of the party, I apologize deeply for this,” Price said after explaining that the app had failed, forcing an analog count that had taken much longer than expected.

Price sought to put to bed the conspiracy theories and rumors to bed, explaining that the party had a paper trail for every precinct and that these were reliable results. But he didn’t say when the rest of the numbers would be in, and ducked questions about why the state party hadn’t done more to troubleshoot the new app before the caucuses, and downplayed concerns that his party’s screw-up might kill the Iowa caucuses.

READ: And the biggest loser of the Iowa caucus is … Iowa

Even a full day later, it’s too early to say for sure who won the race, but it doesn’t look good for the former vice president, who has led in national polls ever since he jumped into the race.

Iowa was always going to be a tough state for Biden — caucuses tend to hurt establishment-leaning candidates, and much of Biden’s support comes from nonwhite voters, who are few and far between in Iowa.

He faces similar demographic challenges in New Hampshire, however, and likely needs to prove he can actually be competitive in that state if he’s going to have the money and momentum to maintain a real shot at the nomination. Michael Bloomberg looms on Super Tuesday, and Biden risks being lapped in fundraising as other candidates turn belated Iowa success into cash.

READ: Everyone but Biden is claiming victory in Iowa’s screwed-up caucuses

The results have led to a bizarro version of the 2016 primaries — Sanders’ team defended the results as the establishment-tied Biden sought to discredit them. While Sanders supporters continued their years-old howling about a “rigged” election online, his actual campaign thanked the Iowa Democratic Party for making sure they got things right, while Biden’s lawyers wrote a strongly worded letter immediately after things began to go sideways on Monday night that seemed aimed at slowing down the release of the numbers as well as sowing doubts about the veracity of the results.

Cover: Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign event at Girls Inc. on February 4, 2020 in Nashua, New Hampshire. The first in the national primary takes place in New Hampshire on February 11. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

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Impeach This: Trump Surging After Winning Iowa Dem Caucus

If displaying total ineptitude worthy of the Obamacare website in the Iowa caucuses isn’t enough, on the day before the final impeachment vote Gallup has released its latest weekly tracking poll showing Trump’s job approval rating at 49 percent, his highest since taking office. If he can maintain that level, the November election is over.

Notice when Trump’s approval line breaks sharply upward. Yes, right around the time the impeachment fiasco starts. Maybe there are other reasons for this, like the continuing robust health of the economy, but you can’t rule out that a lot of voters don’t like frivolous impeachments. That, and the sorry state of the Democratic candidate field.

Meanwhile, Prof. Joshua Dunn at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs reminds us that the Iowa caucuses—and the Democratic Party as a whole right now—were predicted by Monty Python:

Worth remembering between the guffaws, by the way, is that these are the people who want to abolish the electoral college and institute the confusing ranked-choice voting system. Yeah—that’s the ticket: let’s adopt something like Iowa’s caucus system for the whole country.

Next, it is fun to watch people like Jen Rubin shred the last of their credibility, which was already about an minimal as a Jennifer Lopez Super Bowl halftime costume:

And the poor folk at the Babylon Bee are going to have to work overtime with all the material the Democrats are giving them. But they are up to the challenge:

IOWA—The Democratic primaries have broken down into chaos after the party encountered its archnemesis head-on for the first time: basic math.

While progressives were optimistic going into the primaries, they’d forgotten that numbers, counting, and addition would be required.

“No one told us math would be involved!” said one angry Bernie Sanders voter. “We just kinda wanted them to pick our guy. We weren’t told there would be things like addition, counting, and more counting. Can’t we just win based on blind optimism, kinda like how socialism works?”

I haven’t had this much fun watching Democrats melt down since election night four years ago.

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Elizabeth Warren says she, Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg lead in delayed Iowa caucus results

Elizabeth Warren turned her eye to New Hampshire following Monday’s Iowa Caucus fiasco, during which technical glitches delayed results from the Hawkeye State caucuses.

“Iowa is what it is,” Warren told reporters after a town hall in Keene, New Hampshire.

The Bay State senator addressed Granite State voters a week before the state’s primary, and told the press that she, Pete Buttigieg, and Bernie Sanders took the top three spots in Iowa according to internal results.

Voters in turn said the New Hampshire primary now takes on greater weight after Iowa’s mess.

“New Hampshire’s now the most important,” said Keene resident Arthur Simington.

“I just hope the New Hampshire primary goes much smoother,” said Keene voter Faith Cyr. “I’m hoping that Elizabeth can really take over.”

The top eight democratic candidates will go head-to-head in a debate in Manchester Friday night, airing on ABC at 8:00 p.m.

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Ocasio-Cortez’s State of the Union Boycott — Democrat to Avoid Normalizing ‘Trump’s Lawless Conduct’

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) waves on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., May 15, 2019. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) announced on Twitter Tuesday afternoon that, “after much deliberation,” she was electing to not attend President Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night.

“I will not use my presence at a state ceremony to normalize Trump’s lawless conduct & subversion of the Constitution. None of this is normal, and I will not legitimize it,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote. She added that would be answering questions from constituents on Instagram Live to explain her “deeply personal decision.”

Ocasio-Cortez joins at least six other House Democrats in boycotting Trump’s speech, as Representatives Al Green (Texas), Steve Cohen (Tenn.), Earl Blumenauer (Ore.), Ayanna Pressley (Mass.), Hank Johnson (Ga.), and Frederica Wilson (Fla.) have all said publicly they would not attend.

“Because of an impeached, reckless, ruthless, lawless, shameless, corrupt, & unapologetically bigoted president – who is still engaging in a coverup, the state of the House, the state of the Senate, and the #StateOfTheUnion are divided,” Green tweeted. “I will NOT attend #SOTU2020.”

At least six Democrats did not attend Trump’s State of the Union last year, after 14 skipped the 2018 address.

Ocasio-Cortez said Sunday in an interview with Time magazine that the Democratic party has to “rally behind” the eventual nominee to beat Trump.

“It’s incredibly divisive to do so, and very demoralizing, which is a direct threat in November,” she said. “The moment you start playing games trying to deny whoever is the nominee, we really start to get into dangerous territory in terms of defeating Trump.”

In January, Ocasio-Cortez complained that “Democrats can be too big of a tent.”

Speaker Nancy Pelosi brushed off criticism of her decision to invite Trump to deliver remarks just one day before the final vote on his impeachment in a Monday interview with The New York Times.

“It will have a beginning, a middle and an end — and then it will be over,” she said. “So what’s the big deal?”