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An Update on the Democratic Primaries

With such a large field of Democratic candidates for 2020’s presidential election, the primaries are being watched closely to see who is shaping up to be the Democratic nominee for the general election in November. The Iowa caucuses, the first primaries that take place in the nation, were held on Feb. 3. However, new technology proved problematic, leaving some to question whether the results of the caucuses are valid at all. On Feb. 11, the New Hampshire primaries took place with somewhat surprising results. Super Tuesday, the day when the largest number of states have their elections, will be held on March 3. Here’s a quick recap of the many goings-on in the Democratic primaries this month:

In Iowa, a new app that was implemented for the caucuses had a whole array of complicated issues. According to The New York Times, the app hadn’t been thoroughly tested, not everyone was able to log in, volunteers were unfamiliar with the technology, data transmission had high error rates and backup phone lines were flooded with too many calls. These are just a few of the issues that resulted in an inability to accurately report the results of the Iowa caucuses. When the reporting finally wrapped up at the end of the week, it appeared that Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg had essentially tied. However, due to the high potential for error in vote counting due to the app’s malfunctioning, a recanvass began on Feb. 16. By recanvassing, each county will count the ballots again to ensure that everything is accurate; this is essentially the same as a recount, except that a recanvass doesn’t have to go through the court system.

In New Hampshire, the primary results were much clearer: Bernie Sanders won with 25.7% of the vote, with Pete Buttigieg right behind at 24.4%. Amy Klobuchar coming in third is what NPR describes as “the biggest surprise of the night.” Another surprise: Joe Biden coming in near-last, ahead only of outlier Tom Steyer. NPR also reported that “half of voters...said the debate was important in making their [candidate] choice, according to exit polls.”

Two debates are coming up in the next week, as well. On Feb. 19, the ninth Democratic primary debate will take place, and then on Feb. 25, the tenth will occur. The Nevada caucuses will happen on Feb. 22, and on Feb. 29, the South Carolina primary will follow—the final primary before Super Tuesday. The results of these early primaries will no doubt be instrumental in determining the Democratic nominee for president.

Click here to see an interactive 2020 Presidential Election Calendar from The New York Times.

By Olivia Slack, Online Editor


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