Because of the disarray, “The people like Biden who have ‘splaining to do aren’t ‘splaining,” said Joe Trippi, a veteran Democratic consultant of multiple presidential campaigns.

“Normally, Iowa is like a freight train that would carry winners like Buttigieg to victory and run over a candidate like Biden heading into New Hampshire,” Trippi said. “But instead, the train stayed at the station for so long that the momentum just isn’t there.”

It wasn’t just the Iowa Democratic Party’s caucus debacle that shielded Biden from a terrible night. So did a snafu with the state’s famed Iowa Poll, once viewed as a gold standard survey of the caucus that had such stature it could help give a surging candidate a major boost — while sinking those who are drowning — in the final days of the campaign.

The poll, shelved due to irregularities, also had Biden in fourth.

“We didn’t just dodge a bullet. We dodged two bullets,” said one Biden advisor, who didn’t want to be identified.