IOWA CAUCUS 2020

On social media, Iowa the butt of the joke after Iowa caucuses mishap

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The state of Iowa and the Iowa Democratic Party took a beating on social media Tuesday as Americans still didn’t know which Democrat won after the highly anticipated Iowa caucuses.

The Iowa Democratic Party blamed the delay on a coding error tied to an app designed to gather results from precincts around the state. Others called it incompetence. Either way, Iowa was the butt of the jokes.

On Twitter, #IowaCaucusDisaster was trending with hot takes on Iowa’s epic blunder heard round the world. The political debacle was being compared with “hanging chad” confusion in Florida during the 2000 election, the failed Fyre Festival, and some locally even invoked the financial implosion of “newbo evolve.”

Count von Count from “Sesame Street” was being sought to bring a measure of credibility.

“Iowa caucuses quality control,” one highly shared tweet by Randall White stated, showing a sloth very slowly processing caucus preference cards.

Iowa’s resident jokesters — Raygun — trolled with memes, such as the line “Hang on everyone, we’re gonna try one more thing ...” with a cellphone titled “Iowa caucus results” sitting in a bag of rice, which often is a last-ditch solution when the technology has been dropped in water. By midday, the T-shirt and novelty shop had a shirt for sale stating, “This shirt was designed & printed faster than the caucus results were released.”

The Twitterverse even thumbed the eye using one of Iowa’s sacred icons, the “Field of Dreams” movie. A meme questioned, “Is this hell? No, it’s Iowa.”

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The New York Post front page bore the headline “Duh Moines: Democrats in chaos as Iowa caucus implodes.”

Television personality Geraldo Rivera tweeted, “Not a conspiracy theorist But: first we had #IowaPoll screwup in which most anticipated survey of voters was canceled due to unreliability. Now #IowaCaucus disaster — Is there a plot to unhinge Dem process or were there disgruntled high-tech pollsters? Or simple incompetence?”

A number of tweets suggested the final results would be a sham. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders supporters speculated the delay was the latest attempt by the Democratic establishment to undermine his candidacy.

“They blocked the Iowa poll. They blocked the Iowa caucuses. We are winning so hard the Democrats are shutting down the damn entire primary process,” posted the Twitter handle of Organizers for Bernie.

Others mockingly suggested the real winner was 2016 GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush.

Comments: (319) 398-8310; brian.morelli@thegazette.com

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