Democratic Race Tightens

Photo// Chang W. Lee: The New York Times

Arguably the two largest debates in the 2020 presidential race have happened. The Iowa and New Hampshire debates and voting results are crucial for the candidates looking to be the primary candidate for the upcoming election.

The Iowa Caucus was held on Feb. 3 and has been a disaster with setbacks and a possible request for recanvassing by Sen. Bernie Sanders who trails former South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg in the most recent voting results. The Chicago Tribune said that the reason for part of the setback was a problem with an app that was used for reporting the results created by a company called Shadow Inc. 

The Iowa caucus was supposed to give Democrats a more definitive answer as to who the possible nominee would be to take on President Donald Trump. The results have been monitored and posted by many news organizations such as The New York Times and CNN. 

In the Iowa caucus’s first vote and final vote, Sanders received 43,699 votes and 45,842 votes respectfully. It would appear from these votes that Sanders would be the favorite but Buttigieg received more state delegates coming out to 26.2% while Sanders trails only slightly with a 26.1%. 

The Associated Press has yet to give a result on the winner in Iowa because the count is very close. PBS NewsHour said, “the Iowa Democratic Party on Saturday said it was reviewing reported inconsistencies in 95 precincts.” PBS also said that an aide to Sanders “will be asking the state party to review the results from 20 to 30 precincts.”

Buttigieg and Sanders both requested a recanvassing in Iowa yesterday according to Maggie Astor of The New York Times. Jeff Weavor, a senior aide to Sanders, said in a statement to The New York Times, “While a recanvass is just the first step in the process and we don’t expect it to change the current calculations, it is a necessary part of making sure Iowans can trust the final results of the caucus.” 

The candidates had to redirect their course and main plan of action as they headed into the next debate in New Hampshire, to be held on Feb. 11. Former Vice President Joe Biden had people worried after he fell to fourth place in the Iowa results with Buttigieg, Sanders, and Warren all ahead of him.

Biden came out in the New Hampshire debate looking to close the gap that was created by the results in Iowa. Biden and many other candidates took aim at Buttigieg. The two big claims and issues that the candidates had with Buttigieg is that he is inexperienced compared to the others on the stage and that, as Biden mentioned in the latest debate, Buttigieg had a problem with getting minority and black votes. 

Biden believes that, although he may not have the best results coming out of Iowa and possibly New Hampshire, he will be able to do better than the other candidates in more diverse states. Biden has called on his previous ability to gain black and minority votes and that they will be pivotal for him to get closer to the nominee spot.

The target has undoubtedly landed on both Buttigieg and Sanders as they both came out of Iowa with better outcomes than some expected. The other candidates put Buttigieg and Sanders on the hot seat during the New Hampshire debate.

The candidates did seem to try and keep a united front. There were times in the debate where instead of taking advantage of the circumstances brought before them in order to build themselves up, the candidates were committed to not ripping the Democratic party and voters apart and creating more division. 

The debate in New Hampshire was one of the last events the candidates will take part in before the voting today. Many candidates went about New Hampshire to try and secure votes. Bernie Sanders is confident in his ability to come out on top in New Hampshire and some polls have him leading throughout the country. Sen. Amy Klobuchar has claimed she is the candidate that will bring more moderate voters into her campaign and she continued this approach at a rotary club, again bringing up the moderate voters and possibly bringing past Trump voters into her fold. 

Tom Steyer seems focused on the black and minority votes and, like Biden, is looking to win more diverse states such as South Carolina. 

The only candidate not in attendance was Michael Bloomberg. The billionaire is said to be buying his way to the White House. He has been brought up in the debate by the candidates many times and Warren was one of the candidates that called him out the most. Bloomberg has a rather large sum of money going into his campaign and isn’t worried about not attending the past Iowa and New Hampshire debates.

One of the newest debates being had was the focus on figuring a way out to create an effective plan to present to the American people to beat President Trump instead of going after each other’s healthcare plans and changes on top of other inter-party subjects that have been debated.

Another debate was brought up by Buttigieg and the idea that those who have been in the Washington establishment are the old and Buttigieg is the new wave with different ideas and ways to create a better society. This idea was a slap to the face of a couple of candidates, like Biden, who went after Buttigieg’s lack of experience. Buttigieg appears to have moved past some of the other candidates and the race looks close between Buttigieg and Sanders. The votes in New Hampshire today will give a better idea of who the DNC will nominate to run against President Trump in the upcoming 2020 election.

To look at Iowa results and live New Hampshire coverage: