The Iowa Caucuses Were Supposed to Be Important

Olivia Nuzzi, New York:

The Iowa caucus was supposed to be important. First in the nation, they love to remind us — the first place votes are cast; the contest that might predict the president. But tonight that’s all over, or so it seems right now. If you haven’t heard: We don’t yet know the results of the caucuses, due to some kind of fuckup involving a new app the Iowa Democratic Party decided to use, perhaps, or due to some other human error. Nothing is clear. Earlier, when the delay in reporting was becoming apparent and the first murmurs about What Went Wrong were trickling out, the Iowa Democratic Party held a call with representatives from each campaign to discuss the attempts at what it called “quality control.” It ended with the party hanging up on everyone. Later in the evening, the party held a call with reporters that lasted for less than two minutes. It hung up on the reporters too. “They’re hanging up on everyone,” someone here remarked.

Over their cocktails, people are remarking on how they may never return to this state, how this might be their last experience getting into their rental cars and careening over the ice on I-80 past the jackknifed semi-trucks and sedans overturned on the snowy median. They might never again drive over dirt roads through cornfields to see the candidates address union halls and Fourth of July parades and the State Fair, where they see the Butter Cow and eat corn dogs and pork chops on a stick.

Hopefully, the Iowa Democratic Party’s incompetence is the death knell for the state’s undeserved and outsized influence on national politics and the end of caucuses in general.