The chaos of last night’s Nevada caucus continues to ripple into Sunday. Former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg wants the Democratic Party to do a recount because of so-called irregularities and anomalies at multiple precincts, specifically involving early votes. Via Las Vegas Review-Journal:
“Currently our data shows that this is a razor thin margin for second place in Nevada, and due to irregularities and a number of unresolved questions we have raised with the Nevada Democratic Party, it’s unclear what the final results will be,” said Hari Sevugan, Buttigieg’s deputy campaign manager.
The Buttigieg campaign asked that the alleged errors be corrected before any final release of results.
Nevada State Democratic Party spokesperson Molly Forgey is defending the process to CNN:
We laid out our early vote and Caucus Day processes step by step and we communicated these processes to all campaigns. We are continuing to verify and to report results. We never indicated we would release a separate breakdown of early vote and in-person attendees by precinct and will not change our reporting process now. As laid out in our recount guidance, there is a formal method for requesting a challenge of results.
Buttigieg is looking to reduce the impact of former Vice President Joe Biden’s second-place finish and increase his delegate count. Biden was able to score two delegates yesterday versus Buttigieg’s one. It appears Buttigieg believes a brokered convention is possible meaning every delegate will count in Milwaukie. Sanders could end up with a majority of the delegates but a big enough coalition of other Democrats forms to pick another candidate. Buttigieg could benefit as the consensus non-populist presidential candidate or end up as the vice-president nominee in some sort of alliance.
The chaos of the Democratic primary is a double-edged sword. It’s certainly amusing to watch from a dumpster fire perspective. How in the blue cow is this the other major party in America?
Yet the counter-argument is the fact it’s fomenting more and more discord within party ranks and could usher in an even greater populist insurgency. Imagine a populist candidate with a better personality and zero skeletons. The ensuing drama might be something from a novel or early 19th century France.
All these moves by Buttigieg could be rendered moot if Mike Bloomberg’s Super Tuesday strategy pays off. Bloomberg, past debate performance aside, sees March 3rd as the key date for procuring enough delegates to secure the nomination or a way to become kingmaker at the convention. A dangerous proposition given his proclivity for ruling via executive fiat.
The big question for both parties to consider is whether the caucus system is worth the headache. Colorado got rid of its caucus system due to anger from Republican and Democratic voters. One person told KDVR that 2016 was absolute chaos while party leaders said the state had outgrown the caucus system. The result is Colorado doing a primary election this year instead of caucusing.
The benefits of the primary system are obvious: direct results and less of a circus. The detriment is the fact a primary system ends up forcing the state to foot the bill although it could probably be set up to require financial participation from the state parties.
Another option is just admitting Iowa and Nevada do nothing to pick presidential nominees except for allowing the states to go, “We were first!” The nominee isn’t necessarily figured out until Super Tuesday, and it is likely history will repeat itself March 3rd. Despite the obvious fractures in the Democratic Party.