The 2020 Iowa caucuses
Iowa Democratic Party Chair Troy Price faced intense criticism from multiple Democratic campaigns during a call early on Tuesday morning, with senior advisers repeatedly questioning the transparency of the process.
CNN listened to the call, where Price provided little guidance on when the first numbers would be reported.
Price sought to defend the process, arguing that the delay in reporting results stemmed from the party’s desire to “ensure the integrity of the process” but that the party was working to keep “campaigns in the loop throughout this entire process.”
That did not quell concerns from a host of campaigns, which raised questions about the integrity of the Iowa caucuses and why no numbers had been reported.
When Price was pressed by the Warren campaign about what percentage of information the party currently has, Price said he would “get back to you on that info” because “we are still gathering information as we are speaking.”
When asked whether he was confident that “every caucusgoer tonight filled out a preference card and that was administrated correctly,” Price bluntly said, “Yes.”
The most direct criticism of process came from Jeff Weaver, senior adviser to Bernie Sanders’ campaign, who said claims that the delay stemmed from the need to report three numbers – the number of first alignment, the number of second alignment and the number state delegate equivalents – was “bogus.”
“We are hearing some chatter that (the party is) blaming this delay on you having to report three numbers, not one,” Weaver said.
When Price began to said the delay was caused by a “reporting issue,” Weaver called the excuse “bogus” and said, if true, “the whole process has been a fraud for 100 years.”
“We want to make sure (this) is accurate and that preserves the integrity of those results as well,” Price said. “We have not had those numbers reported before, so we want to make sure those results are accurate, just like all information we put out.”
Weaver told Price that his answer was “disappointing.”
Price ended the call by saying, “We will be transparent as we go forward through this process, but again we want to make sure we are protecting the integrity of the process, the integrity of the result … we will keep you in the loop.”
In a brief call with reporters following the campaign call, party officials reiterated their belief that “integrity of the results is paramount” and that they were continuing to brief campaigns.
The party did not take any questions.
Polk County Democratic Chairman Sean Bagniewski, whose county includes Des Moines and has 177 precincts, told CNN he has boxes with paper results from the county’s precincts, but no way of reporting them to the state party.
“There’s no way to report them. We’ve got them,” he said.
Some precinct chairs told Bagniewski they’d been on hold for an hour-and-a-half to two hours — and sometimes had their calls disconnected after getting through.
He and other Polk County officials asked precinct chairs who hadn’t reported their results to take pictures of their tallies and send them to the county party’s executive director, who then tried to drive them to state party HQ. She arrived at about 9:15 p.m., but was turned away and told that precinct chairs should call their results in as usual.
Bagniewski said his precinct chairs had tested the app used to report the results and some were having trouble — so last Thursday, he told those who couldn’t get the app to work to call in their results to the Iowa Democratic Party as they had in previous years.
“When you have 1,700 precincts in one state, it should be a couple month long process of training folks, testing out the app, making sure it is downloaded, and that wasn’t happening here,” he added.
UPDATE, 1:56 AM ET: Bagniewski tweeted at 1:27 a.m. ET that his county's results had been turned in.
"We’re still not sure what’s going on with the app and phone lines for state reporting, but rest assured, that all of the Polk County results have been turned in and are secure," he said on Twitter. "Our thousands of volunteers did absolutely amazing work tonight."
CNN's Paul LeBlanc contributed to this report.
Even with zero precincts reporting, Pete Buttigieg said late Monday local time that “by all indications,” his campaign is “going to New Hampshire victorious.”
“What a night. Because tonight an improbable hope became an undeniable reality," he said at his Iowa election night party. “So we don’t know all the results, but we know by the time it’s all said and done, Iowa, you have shocked the nation.”
Reflecting on the start of his campaign, Buttigieg said, "Now there were skeptics. An awful lot of skeptics who said, ‘Not now. Not this time. All this talk of belonging and of bridging divides is too naive. Too risky.’”
“So tonight I say with a heart full of gratitude. Iowa, you have proved those skeptics wrong,” he added.
Des Moines County Democratic Co-chair Tom Courtney tells CNN that he tried for 15-30 minutes to send in results on the mobile app before giving up and calling in to the hotline.
When that didn’t work either, he made plans to call in the results tomorrow morning.
"I will try tomorrow, but I have a doctor's appointment in the morning so it might be 10 a.m. by the time I turn in results," Courtney said.
He had 118 caucus goers, down from more than 200 from past election cycles. His caucus ended around 8:30 p.m. local time.
Trump's 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale said the delay in reporting results in Iowa is "the sloppiest train wreck in history."
He criticized Democrats' handling of the reporting process.
"And these are the people who want to run our entire health care system?" Parscale asked.
Here's his full statement:
“Democrats are stewing in a caucus mess of their own creation with the sloppiest train wreck in history. It would be natural for people to doubt the fairness of the process. And these are the people who want to run our entire health care system? Tonight President Trump posted a record performance in the well-run GOP Iowa caucuses with record turnout for an incumbent.”
Campaign sources tell CNN that that the call between campaigns and the Iowa Democratic Party was "short and uninformative."
The party hung up quickly to avoid taking questions, the sources said. The party said they were counting votes manually — but provided no details about what that meant.
Sen. Bernie Sanders just took the stage in Des Moines with his wife, Jane, two grandchildren, his son and his daughter-in-law.
He addressed the delay in results at the top of his speech.
"Let me begin by stating that I imagine — have a strong feeling that at some point the results will be announced," Sanders told the crowd. "And when those results are announced I have a good feeling we're going to be doing very, very well here in Iowa."
"Tonight in this enormously consequential 2020 election, the first state in the country has voted. And today, today marks the beginning of the end for Donald Trump."
Sen. Elizabeth Warren addressed supporters, as results over the Iowa caucuses were delayed.
She acknowledged there were no results so far.
“It is too close to call, so I’m just going to tell you what I do know," she told the crowd.
“We don’t back down," she said. "We meet big problems with even bigger solutions. I’m here tonight because I believe that big dreams are still possible.”
Other candidates also delivered speeches on Monday night, in the face of the results delay.
Watch Warren's speech:
Former Vice President Joe Biden said the Iowa Democrats are working to get the caucus results straight as he addressed supporters tonight.
The party has not yet reported any caucus results.
"Well, the Iowa Democratic Party is working to get this result — get 'em straight," he told supporters in Des Moines.
"And I want to make sure they're very careful in their deliberations," Biden added. "And indications are — our indication it's going to be close. We're going to walk out of here with our share of delegates."