The 2020 Iowa caucuses

By Meg Wagner, Amanda Wills, Veronica Rocha and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 12:14 a.m. ET, February 5, 2020
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9:37 p.m. ET, February 3, 2020

Facebook takes action over debunked claim on Iowa voter numbers

From CNN's Brian Fung

Facebook on Monday moved to block users from sharing a debunked claim published by Judicial Watch, an activist group that’s supportive of President Donald Trump, about the number of registered Iowa voters. 

The social media platform told CNN it is now appending warning labels to posts that seek to amplify the discredited claims. Users who attempt to share a Facebook post containing the claims will also be interrupted by a notification informing them that the post has false information.

The attempt to limit the claim’s spread follows a fact-check performed by one of Facebook’s third-party partners. When a fact-checking partner flags a piece of content as false, it sends a signal to Facebook, which then automatically acts against the content.

But despite the fact-check, a Facebook advertisement by Judicial Watch that repeated the false claim remained active on the platform until Monday night. According to Facebook’s advertising transparency page, the ad was viewed between 15,000 and 20,000 times nationwide, despite spending less than $100 on the buy.

Asked by CNN Monday night whether the ad would be taken down, Facebook told CNN that “action should be taken shortly.”

Meanwhile, Twitter rejected calls to act against tweets promoting the false claims, saying they did not violate the platform’s policies because the tweets do not "suppress voter turnout or mislead people about when, where, or how to vote.”

9:36 p.m. ET, February 3, 2020

Klobuchar's campaign: "We feel like the hard work is paying off"

From CNN's Kyung Lah and Stephanie Becker

Nati Harnik/AP
Nati Harnik/AP

 Amy Klobuchar’s campaign manager Justin Buoen tells CNN that their precinct captains say the senator is viable in “a bunch of precincts.”

“Back in the war room, we’ve been talking to precinct captains and they are saying we are viable in a bunch of precincts,” Buoen told CNN.

“We feel like the hard work is paying off,” he added. 
9:22 p.m. ET, February 3, 2020

This is what it's like when caucusgoers realign

The realignment phase of caucusing is happening at a caucus site at Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa.

Several candidates were not viable, including Joe Biden. Some of his supporters then joined the uncommitted group. The maneuver effectively denies delegates to more progressive, viable candidates, such as Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.

Pete Buttigieg is also unviable — but many of his supporters remained seated during the realignment. That's when the uncommitted group started chanting "Come on, Pete!"

About viability and realignment: After voters split up into groups dedicated to their first presidential candidate of choice, viability is determined. Typically, a candidate needs 15% of the vote to remain viable, as determined by the amount of people participating in the precinct location, but smaller locations may have different viability thresholds.

If a candidate is not viable, their voters can realign to another viable candidate or join together to create a group in support of another candidate that meets the threshold.

Watch the moment:

9:14 p.m. ET, February 3, 2020

Voters who say health care matters the most support these 2 candidates

From CNN's Ryan Struyk and Grace Sparks

Iowa Democratic caucusgoers for whom health care is their top issue in choosing a nominee were split between Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg, with around a quarter supporting each. Fewer than one in five of them were for Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren, and only one in 10 for Amy Klobuchar.

Two in five say health care was the issue that mattered most in deciding who to support. 

Among caucusgoers who oppose replacing private insurance with a government plan, three in 10 support Biden, and another three in 10 support Buttigieg. Klobuchar’s support is slightly over one in 10 in this group.

Watch more:

9:10 p.m. ET, February 3, 2020

Here's how Bernie Sanders did in Iowa in 2016

From CNN's Lauren Dezenski

In this February 2016 photo, Sen. Bernie Sanders waves as he arrives to speak during a caucus night party in Des Moines, Iowa.
In this February 2016 photo, Sen. Bernie Sanders waves as he arrives to speak during a caucus night party in Des Moines, Iowa. Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders came very close to winning the Iowa caucuses in 2016.

Sanders received 49.59% of the vote — a hair away from Hillary Clinton’s winning vote percentage of 49.84%.

Sanders used his Iowa performance to fuel a fundraising boost, raising $3 million from supporters

He went on to win the New Hampshire primary by almost 20 points. 

9:06 p.m. ET, February 3, 2020

Some caucus sites are running out of cards

From CNN's DJ Judd

Charlie Neibergall/AP
Charlie Neibergall/AP

Polk County Democrats Chair Sean Bagniewski said three caucus sites in the county ran out of presidential preference cards, including the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

The party is running replacement cards over now, he said.

Watch:

8:57 p.m. ET, February 3, 2020

These 5 candidates are viable in Sioux City

Five candidates are viable at a caucus in Sioux City:

  • Joe Biden
  • Pete Buttigieg
  • Amy Klobuchar
  • Bernie Sanders 
  • Elizabeth Warren

There were only two nonviable candidates: Tom Steyer and Andrew Yang.

About viability: After voters split up into groups dedicated to their first presidential candidate of choice, viability is determined. Typically, a candidate needs 15% of the vote to remain viable, as determined by the amount of people participating in the precinct location, but smaller locations may have different viability thresholds.

If a candidate is not viable, their voters can realign to another viable candidate or join together to create a group in support of another candidate that meets the threshold.

Watch more:

8:53 p.m. ET, February 3, 2020

Biden campaign condemns robocalls urging Iowans to change voter registration

From CNN's Andrew Kaczynski

Joshua Lott/Getty Images
Joshua Lott/Getty Images

The Biden campaign is distancing itself from a robocall that has been targeting Iowans since Friday urging them to change their registration to Democrat to vote for Biden in Monday's caucus.  

The calls, a partial copy of which was obtained from the anti-robocall tracking application and website NoMoRobo, asks voters to change their registration to vote for Biden and against "the Democrat radical socialist agenda." 

The call says, in part: "If you join me and register as a Democrat to vote in the Democratic caucus, you can change your registration before it is even recorded that you did."

It is unclear who is running the calls. Aaron Foss of NoMoRobo told CNN the calls were hitting phones in Iowa and surrounding areas. 

A spokesman for the Biden campaign said they were not making the calls, which could be seen as a veiled attack on Bernie Sanders.

"Our campaign had nothing to do with these calls and we condemn this dirty trick," the spokesman said. 

A spokesman for Biden super PAC Unite the Country said they are not spending any money on robocalls. 

8:46 p.m. ET, February 3, 2020

Warren camp on the importance of realignment: "The game is not over at half time"

From CNN's MJ Lee

Andrew Harnik/AP
Andrew Harnik/AP

Tonight, three kinds of results will be released: first alignment preference, second alignment preference and state delegate equivalency.

Here’s what one Elizabeth Warren adviser tells CNN about how they are viewing all of this, using a sports analogy: “The game is not over at half time.” 

While the first alignment number says something very important about a candidate’s initial support, Warren advisers are stressing the fact that they believe what happens between the first and second alignment – persuading those who didn’t pick you the first time and bringing them into your corner – says more about a candidate’s strength heading into the rest of the nominating contest and ultimately the general election.

That second alignment number is “a better indication of your strength as a general election nominee in terms of building a coalition,” the adviser said.

About the second alignment: If a candidate is not viable, their voters can realign to another viable candidate or join together to create a group in support of another candidate that meets the threshold.