The Democratic National Committee (DNC) has been fairly quiet since the debacle started in Iowa on Monday, but they’re quiet no more. On Thursday, apparently fed up with the inconsistency of the results and the continued correcting of data, DNC Chairman Tom Perez tweeted his demand to the Iowa Democratic Party that a full and complete recanvass of the caucus needs to start immediately.
“Enough is enough,” Perez said in a tweet. “In light of the problems that have emerged in the implementation of the delegate selection plan and in order to assure public confidence in the results, I am calling on the Iowa Democratic Party to immediately begin a recanvass,” he said.
A recanvass is a review of the worksheets from each caucus site to ensure accuracy.
The IDP will continue to report results.
— Tom Perez (@TomPerez) February 6, 2020
At this point, a recanvass may be the first step is truly sorting things out. Whether voters or campaigns will ever fully have faith in the results is debatable, but the effort should at least be made to verify the paper trail.
As we noted Thursday morning, Pete Buttigieg was clinging to the narrowest of leads in Iowa over Bernie Sanders, with 97 percent of the caucus vote released. With such a narrow margin, a recanvass could tilt the scales in either direction and change the balance of the eventual delegate award.
Buttigieg was at 26.2 percent and Sanders had 26 percent, with Elizabeth Warren running in third place at 18.2 percent. Former Vice President Joe Biden had 15.8 percent, Amy Klobuchar, at 12.2 percent and the rest in single digits.
There is no word on what specifically may have launched Perez to call for a recanvass, but there have been missteps along the way over the past 72 hours as the Iowa Democratic Party releases results, then corrects the release, and so on.
CNN is reporting, however, that Perez does have specific questions on how the Iowa Democratic Party is adhering to the initial plan submitted to the DNC:
Perez, in the tweet, is specifically raising questions about how the Iowa Democratic Party is adhering to the plan they submitted to the national party. That plan guided how the state party would allocate delegates.
Perez took the step of calling for a recanvass specifically because of issues around how the Iowa Democratic Party was allocating state delegate equivalents from satellite caucus sites, two sources with knowledge tell CNN.
One person familiar with Perez’s decision said it was done to get ahead of calls for a recount from candidates, something the party worried would look divisive.
The Iowa Democratic Party did not have advance warning that Perez was planning to call for a recanvass, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Catching the Iowa Democratic Party off guard must mean that Perez is taking a lot of incoming criticism and his phone probably hasn’t stopped ringing nor has his email inbox stopped exploding. Party officials, voters, and campaigns are still reeling from the embarrassment of not being able to count votes during an event that literally had years of planning.
Whether the recanvass changes anything remains to be seen, and anything that does change could happen well after several primaries in other states which will make the recanvass less impactful on the process if the lead flips.