Charisma Caucus

Democrats Seem to Be Experiencing GOP's 'Groundhog Day'

Bernie Sanders
Bernie Sanders said Monday night that even a tie against Hillary Clinton was a victory for his campaign. (Reuters photo)

One of the biggest Hollywood hits of 1993 was the comedy Groundhog Day, featuring Bill Murray as a weatherman who finds himself reliving the same day over and over again until he gets it right.

It's probably just an unfortunate irony for Democrats that the day following the 2016 Iowa Caucuses just happens to be Feb. 2—Groundhog Day—particularly in light of their response to issues Republicans faced in 2012. That's because a miscount and missing votes eventually resulted in the Iowa GOP bashfully declaring Rick Santorum the winner after having previously announced Mitt Romney was the winner.

By comparison, the Democrats' issues are, quite simply, a hot mess.

First, there were reports of widespread "voting irregularities" in precincts where the chairs were partial to Hillary Clinton. In one precinct, broadcast live on C-SPAN2, the total number of voters from the first round of voting to the second changed, and it was suggested the Clinton chair lied about whether or not she actually counted, or if she just fudged the number.

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Next, there was the delegate who was determined by a coin toss. While that may sound bizarre, or even completely unethical, that is the prescribed way to determine the status of a delegate when there is a tie under Iowa Democrat Party rules.

But the icing on the cake, so to speak, was the report that delegate counts from more than 90 precincts have disappeared. According to John Wagner of the Washington Post, who has been covering the Bernie Sanders campaign, the IDP informed all of the campaigns about the "missing" results.

Wagner reported the news on his working Twitter account shortly before midnight Iowa time. A few minutes later, Kylie Atwood of CBS News quoted an unnamed IDP official who said reports that the precincts were not staffed with temporary chairs were "inaccurate."

As of 2 a.m. Iowa Time, however, the Democrat results were still frozen at 98 percent of precincts reporting. Hillary Clinton had won 696 county-level delegates—the standard unit of measure in the Iowa Democrat Caucus—to Bernie Sanders' 692, while Martin O'Malley won 8.

Total voter turnout has not yet been announced, although IDP officials say it was "record-breaking."

O'Malley, already considered a long shot going into Monday night's nominating contest, actually exceeded expectations by winning a handful of delegates, but it's far below the threshold necessary to win any national delegates. He announced Monday evening he was suspending his campaign.

If the margin between Clinton and Sanders remains as is, both candidates will take 15 delegates apiece into the national convention, regardless of whoever is declared the official winner. Clinton took the initiative and declared herself the winner early Monday evening. Sanders, meanwhile, declared that even a tie was a victory for his campaign, which most advisers gave little chance of succeeding at its onset.

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