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Bernie Got Robbed In Iowa So He’s at War With the Democrats Again

The Iowa caucus fiasco just re-ignited the defining narrative in the Democratic Party. In 2016, it was all about Sen. Bernie Sanders’ feud with the Democratic National Committee, which seemed hell-bent on nominating Hillary Clinton at all costs. Now, a cascade of problems at the Iowa Caucus appears to have momentarily deprived Sanders of a…

Bernie Got Robbed In Iowa So He’s at War With the Democrats Again

The Iowa caucus fiasco just re-ignited the defining narrative in the Democratic Party.

In 2016, it was all about Sen. Bernie Sanders’ feud with the Democratic National Committee, which seemed hell-bent on nominating Hillary Clinton at all costs.

Now, a cascade of problems at the Iowa Caucus appears to have momentarily deprived Sanders of a win — and that could change the course of the campaign.

Polling averages suggested that Sanders was running away with it in Iowa. And that would have likely propelled a multimillion-dollar surge in donations and positive media coverage, particularly since it appears as though the presumptive frontrunner, former Vice President Joe Biden, severely underperformed.

Instead, the delay in results created an information vacuum that quickly turned into a circular firing squad of recriminations on the left.

Sanders’ campaign manager told supporters in an email Tuesday that the Vermont senator had a “comfortable lead” by the campaign’s own reporting — gathered from independently deployed poll monitors — from more than half of districts across the state. Those unverified estimates put Sanders in the lead with around 29% of the vote, followed by former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg with 25%, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren with 21%. Biden appeared to trail them all.

But Bernie Sanders’ rivals, meanwhile, preemptively declared victory or otherwise spun the night’s non-result in their favor. Biden was the only major candidate not to claim “victory” in Iowa. (He may have gotten a reprieve: a fourth- or even fifth-place finish would have killed any momentum his candidacy might have carried into New Hampshire and Nevada.) Campaign hands took aim at the Iowa Democratic Party and the untested app it used to tabulate votes.

And the Vermont senator left Iowa without what might have been a momentum-building news cycle and huge fundraising opportunity.

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“This is not a good night for democracy,” Sanders told reporters on his plane before it took off from Des Moines on Tuesday.

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

The first-in-the-nation contest was supposed to provide clarity to a primary that’s been scrambled by the democratic socialist front-runner and his tense relationship with the party. It ended up doing the precise opposite.

A glitchy app, backed by well-connected Democratic strategists, exacerbated reporting inaccuracies across the state. Party officials told campaigns Tuesday that they’d release partial results by late afternoon Tuesday, which could just make things even more confusing.

The screw-up has screamed incompetence and even conspiracy to Sanders supporters and progressive media figures who’ve been key in boosting the senator’s message online.

“[T]onight should have been a fantastic, joyous night for progressives,” Cenk Uygur, creator of The Young Turks, said on Twitter. “Instead, the Democratic Party set progressives back again.”

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