The Hill's Campaign Report: Buttigieg, Sanders ahead in Iowa debacle

Welcome to The Hill’s Campaign Report, your (now) daily rundown on all the latest news in the 2020 presidential, Senate and House races. Did someone forward this to you? Click here to subscribe.

We’re Julia Manchester, Max Greenwood and Jonathan Easley. Here’s what we’re watching this week on the campaign trail. 

 

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PROGRAMMING NOTE: The Hill’s Campaign Report will now be released daily, from Monday to Friday, starting today! 

 

LEADING THE DAY:

CHAOTIC CAUCUS: Nearly a full day after the Iowa caucuses began, delayed partial results show former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegScaled-back Pride Month poses challenges for fundraising, outreach Biden hopes to pick VP by Aug. 1 It’s as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process MORE narrowly leading Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.), giving an early edge to two outsider candidates, one of whom was barely known by voters a year ago. 

The results only account for about 62 percent of the vote in Iowa. Technical difficulties with an app used to report caucus results forced the Iowa Democratic Party to delay tallies on Tuesday, and it’s still unclear when the full results will be made available. 

With so much of the vote still out, the race in Iowa remains too close to call. But the partial results allow both Buttigieg and Sanders to claim an early victory in the first-in-the-nation caucus state, potentially giving their campaigns momentum heading into New Hampshire, which holds its primary in a week. 

According to the first batch of results, Buttigieg narrowly led the pack with 28 percent of the delegates, while Sanders took the No. 2 spot with 25 percent. Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Joint Chiefs chairman says he regrets participating in Trump photo-op | GOP senators back Joint Chiefs chairman who voiced regret over Trump photo-op | Senate panel approves 0B defense policy bill Trump on collision course with Congress over bases with Confederate names MORE (D-Mass.) had about 18 percent of the delegates, per the partial results, while former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE, who entered the race last year as the presumed front-runner, had only about 16 percent. 

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Despite the early triumphs for Buttigieg and Sanders, the contest in Iowa has ultimately been overshadowed by technical errors that angered campaign aides and political observers and shook confidence in Iowa’s status as the first-in-the-nation caucus state.

The partial results released on Tuesday afternoon should be taken with a grain of salt. They don’t account for the full tally in Iowa and could change based on the still-unreleased numbers. And when exactly those will be made available is unclear. Troy Price, the chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party, said at a press conference on Tuesday that the party was still reviewing “irregularities” and does not yet have a timeline for when that work will be finished.

“We’re going to take the time we need to get these results done. Now that we have the first batch coming out here … we’ll continue to go through our processes verifying everything,” Price said.

For now, the candidates are moving on to New Hampshire, which is slated to hold its primary on Feb. 11.

 

READ MORE: 

First Iowa results show Buttigieg, Sanders ahead, by Reid Wilson

Iowa Democratic Party can’t say when full results will be in, by Jonathan Easley

Frustration as Iowa caucuses descend into chaos, by Jonathan Easley.

Iowa Democrats blame app snafus, by Jonathan Easley.

Campaigns fume about being left in the dark, by Max Greenwood.

The buzzy Democratic firm that botched the Iowa caucuses, from HuffPost.

 

FROM THE TRAIL:

ON TO THE NEXT ONE: Despite not knowing the results of the Iowa caucuses, the 2020 Democratic hopefuls traveled to New Hampshire early on Tuesday for a packed day of events. 

The candidates emphasized in their post-Iowa speeches that they had momentum going into the Granite State’s primaries, appearing to mold their own narratives of the race. 

Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Democrats demand Republican leaders examine election challenges after Georgia voting chaos Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk MORE (D-Minn.) landed in New Hampshire at 4 a.m. on Tuesday and held her campaign’s first event of the day in Concord. 

 

 

Buttigieg made the rounds on the morning news circuit from Manchester, N.H, and defended his decision to declare victory in Iowa on Monday, despite not seeing any official results. 

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Meanwhile, former Vice President Joe Biden told supporters in New Hampshire that his campaign had a “good night” at the Iowa caucuses and asked them to give the Iowa Democratic Party time to work through its issues. 

Sanders bemoaned Monday’s caucuses as “not a good night for democracy” on the plane to New Hampshire on Tuesday and followed other campaigns in releasing his own team’s internal data. 

Warren also expressed her frustrations with the Iowa Democratic Party’s plan to release half of the data from the caucuses , telling reporters in the Granite State that officials needed to “get it together and release all of the data.” 

Meanwhile, former New York City Mayor Michael BloombergMichael BloombergEngel scrambles to fend off primary challenge from left It’s as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process Liberals embrace super PACs they once shunned MORE, who has already spent in the neighborhood of $300 million on his campaign, has told his adviser to double his spending on airwaves, The Washington Post reports. That’s a huge bet that the chaos in Iowa will benefit Bloomberg, who is not running in the first four states to vote.

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PERSPECTIVES:

Liz Harrington: Democrats find no rest after Iowa.

Ryan Cooper: A big win for Bernie Sanders.

 

MONEY WATCH:

FEC MANIA: It’s been four days since the Federal Election Commission released the latest batch of campaign finance reports. We’re still working our way through everything, but here’s what we know for sure: Spending in the presidential race exploded in the last three months of 2019. In all, the leading Democratic candidates dropped a combined $140 million in the fourth quarter, and many of them ended up spending more money than they took in, Julia reports. Warren, for example, spent $33.7 million despite raising only $21.7 million over the quarter. Sanders dropped even more campaign cash — more than $50 million. He brought in $34.5 million last quarter.

But both figures pale in comparison to the total spent by Bloomberg, the billionaire businessman who made a late entrance into the race in November. He dropped more than $188 million in just over a month, FEC filings show. Unlike his opponents, however, he’s self-funding his campaign, and the nine-figure budget accounts for only a tiny fraction of his multibillion-dollar fortune.

Biden, meanwhile, has found himself with a dearth of cash. His campaign reported having only about $8.9 million in the bank at the end of the fourth quarter. By comparison, Sanders reported $18.2 million in cash on hand, Warren had $13.7 million and Buttigieg reported $14.5 million. Still, Biden’s not likely to run out of money anytime soon. In a memo to supporters over the weekend, his campaign manager, Greg Schultz, insisted that “the month of January will be the campaign’s strongest month of fundraising since launch, with the vast majority of our growth coming through digital grassroots donations.”

Down the ballot, House Democrats continued to outpace their Republican counterparts in fundraising in the fourth quarter. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s roster of 43 members in tough reelection bids reported raising a combined $28.5 million over the course of the quarter, making it their best fundraising period of 2019, Max reports. The fundraising surge came amid the House’s impeachment inquiry and eventual vote to impeach President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE. Nevertheless, many Democrats representing districts won by Trump in 2016 saw an influx in campaign donations. Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Pa.), for instance, saw his fundraising increase by 125 percent between the third and fourth quarters. Another freshman member, Rep. Elissa SlotkinElissa SlotkinOvernight Defense: Trump’s move to use military in US sparks backlash | Defense officials take heat | Air Force head calls Floyd’s death ‘a national tragedy’ Democrats blast Trump’s use of military against protests Gun control group rolls out House endorsements MORE (D-Mich.), saw a 57 percent surge, raking in $1.3 million in the last three months of the year.

Democrats running the most competitive Senate races of 2020 also outpaced Republicans in fundraising. But the GOP maintained a massive cash lead thanks to several incumbents with sizable campaign accounts, The Hill’s Reid Wilson reports. Across 12 states with 13 Senate seats up for grabs this year, 16 Democratic candidates raised a combined $32 million. But between 18 Republicans running in those same races, there was a combined $96 million in cash on hand.

All that’s to say that the 2020 elections are already rife with cash, and the fundraising and spending are only likely to accelerate in the new year.

 

POLL WATCH:

A tough week for Democrats: Trump job approval reaches personal best in new Gallup survey.

 

BOSTON GLOBE/WBZ-TV/SUFFOLK UNIVERSITY NEW HAMPSHIRE

Sanders: 24 percent

Biden: 18 percent

Warren 13 percent

Buttigieg: 11 percent

 

UMASS LOWELL NEW HAMPSHIRE

Sanders: 23 percent

Biden: 22 percent

Warren: 19 percent

Buttigieg: 12 percent

Klobuchar: 6 percent

 

7NEWS/EMERSON NEW HAMPSHIRE

Sanders: 32 percent (+3)

Warren: 13 percent (+1)

Biden: 13 percent (-1)

Buttigieg: 12 percent (-1)

Klobuchar: 12 percent (+4)

 

MARK YOUR CALENDARS:

There are seven days until the New Hampshire primary, 15 days until the Nevada caucuses, 22 days until the South Carolina primary and 25 days until Super Tuesday. Trump will give the State of the Union address tonight from the U.S. House of Representatives. The Senate is expected to vote on his impeachment tomorrow.

 

ONE FUN THING: 

CHEERS: Transmitting the results was not the only thing to go wrong in last night’s caucuses. 

According to the Iowa Starting Line, one caucusgoer tried to smuggle a bottle of red into one Des Moines precinct. The woman was momentarily successful but accidentally dropped it. 

 

 

We can’t help but ask ourselves, was this foreshadowing the stress-inducing night to come? 

We can’t be sure, but we do know that Iowa Rep. Abby FinkenauerAbby Lea FinkenauerIowa Republican Ashley Hinson wins House primary Gloves come off as Democrats fight for House seat in California The Hill’s Campaign Report: Buzz builds around Warren for VP MORE’s (D) Aunt Kathleen had the right idea when she declared that she was tired and wanted to go home in the middle of the caucuses. 

 

 

We are all you on this long campaign news day, Kathleen. 

Check back with us tomorrow for the latest 2020 campaign news! We hope you get some rest post-caucus chaos. 

 

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