- Republicans are exploiting the confusion surrounding the delay in results of the Iowa caucuses by recycling a conspiracy theory pushed by then-candidate Donald Trump in 2016.
- Some in the GOP are suggesting the process was rigged against Sen. Bernie Sanders, who describes himself as a democratic socialist.
- There’s no evidence of election rigging whatsoever, and the Iowa Democratic Party has said at least some of the results will be released by Tuesday evening.
- The delay in results was linked to problems with a new app used to report precinct results.
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Amid the chaos surrounding the delayed results of the Iowa caucuses, multiple Republicans have pushed conspiracy theories that imply the process was rigged against Sen. Bernie Sanders.
With so much confusion in Iowa, some in the GOP saw an opportunity to be exploited.
There is no evidence whatsoever the caucuses were rigged, but some Republicans are pushing this conspiratorial narrative in what appears to be a fairly transparent effort to divide Democratic voters. The primary season is already heated, with supporters of the various Democratic candidates often duking it out online.
Multiple Republicans, including Sen. Lindsey Graham, President Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale, Donald Trump Jr., and Eric Trump pushed such conspiracy theories about Iowa via Twitter.
What are the odds that:
➡️ most anticipated poll of the year (@DMRegister) is cancelled.
➡️ voting system completely crashes.
….and it has nothing to do with a Bernie blowout and a Biden crash?
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) February 4, 2020
And by “Quality Control” they mean fixing the results to get the candidate the Democrat Overlords in DC want. https://t.co/EkIztYHYuN
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) February 4, 2020
Rigging ain’t easy. https://t.co/HUiygk4M4e
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) February 4, 2020
— Eric Trump (@EricTrump) February 4, 2020
Meanwhile, some Republicans are also suggesting that the disastrous Iowa caucuses are proof that Democrats can’t run the country. This includes Trump, who tweeted: “The Democrat Caucus is an unmitigated disaster. Nothing works, just like they ran the Country…The only person that can claim a very big victory in Iowa last night is ‘Trump’.”
Trump has repeatedly made conspiratorial allegations of election rigging against both him and Sanders
In 2016, then-candidate Trump repeatedly suggested, without evidence, the election (that he went on to win) was rigged against him. He made similar suggestions about Sanders at the time (also without evidence).
Trump, for example, in May 2016 tweeted, “Bernie Sanders is being treated very badly by the Democrats – the system is rigged against him. Many of his disenfranchised fans are for me!”
In January, Trump suggested Democrats were rigging the election against Sanders by delaying the impeachment trial. There’s no evidence of this, but it didn’t stop Trump from tweeting this conspiracy theory on January 17.
“They are rigging the election again against Bernie Sanders, just like last time, only even more obviously. They are bringing him out of so important Iowa in order that, as a Senator, he sit through the Impeachment Hoax Trial. Crazy Nancy thereby gives the strong edge to Sleepy Joe Biden, and Bernie is shut out again. Very unfair, but that’s the way the Democrats play the game. Anyway, it’s a lot of fun to watch!” Trump said on Twitter.
Sanders has not made any allegations of election rigging as his campaign has awaited the results of Monday’s Iowa caucuses. Virtually all of the Democratic candidates have expressed dismay on some level, and discontentment toward the Iowa Democratic Party, about the delay in results.
In an email to supporters, Sanders’ campaign manager, Faiz Shakir, said, “Last night was a bad night for democracy, for the Democratic Party, and for the people of Iowa.”
Shakir said that the campaign’s internal results, sent to it by precinct captains around the state, indicated that with “close to 60% of the vote in, we have a comfortable lead.”
Sanders on Tuesday told reporters: “I think we should all be disappointed in the inability of the party to come up with timely results, but we are not casting aspersions on votes.”
In the midst of all of this, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg prematurely declared victory, with no results yet in, later backtracking on the assertion after it caused confusion.
But not everyone on the Democratic side completely avoided conjecture about what happened.
Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar, who endorsed Sanders and campaigned for him, on Twitter retweeted someone who appeared to link Buttigieg to the delay in results. In a cyptic comment on the tweet, Omar said, “This can’t be it!”
This can’t be it! https://t.co/xM1xao2u2l
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 4, 2020
Former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign slammed the Iowa Democratic Party over the delay in a letter that complained about “considerable flaws” in the process.
Biden deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield on Tuesday told CNN: “We have real concerns about the integrity of the process… People should be able to have faith that the process was fair.”
The Biden campaign wrote a letter to the Iowa Democratic Party complaining about the “considerable flaws” in the vote-reporting system.
“People should be able to have faith that the process was fair,” Biden deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield says.https://t.co/52TX3ckU6i pic.twitter.com/6hMrWdKvn3
— New Day (@NewDay) February 4, 2020
“I think anybody who watched that process last night would have some concerns with how that played out,” Bedingfield added.
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