‘It was a cluster-f***. A sh** show. A f***ing disaster…’
(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) The fallout from Iowa‘s disastrous Democratic primary spilled into its fourth day on Thursday as The Hill reported that the official results contained “inconsistencies” and “errors” in the neck-and-neck race between Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind.
However, one of the biggest takeaways was not who would win, but rather who lost the nation’s first official referendum on the Democratic nominating contest to take on President Donald Trump in November.
Namely, as former Vice President Joe Biden faced scandal after scandal over his own foibles and his role in protecting his son’s corrupt Ukrainian business deals—the issue at the center of recent impeachment proceedings against Trump—the former Democratic front-runner’s campaign suffered a decisive flop.
“I expected to do better,” Biden said at a CNN town hall in Manchester, New Hampshire, Wednesday evening, according to Politico.
“And I expected that our organization would perform better,” he added.
He said the caucus loss had been a “gut punch” for his campaign.
According to the left-wing FiveThirtyEight blog, Biden’s odds of winning plummeted from one in three to one in five, with Sanders moving to a 50 percent chance of garnering the nomination.
But even before the voting debacle on Monday, Biden was already flagging in the Hawkeye State, a pitiful fourth-place with only 13 percent support, according to a never-released poll from the Des Moines Register.
Politico said the final outcome, with 97 percent of precincts reporting, gave him a slight uptick of 16 percent, but still trailing behind the two leaders, as well as Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.
Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire media mogul and ex-New York City mayor, also has been advancing in national polls following a recent advertising blitz, but made the strategic decision to skip Iowa and other early states, saying they were a waste of resources.
Describing the Iowa result as a “train wreck,” Politico said Biden campaign staffers were seeking to downplay the candidate’s broader struggles by pinning it on poor organization within the state.
“We had precinct captains who didn’t know how to run a caucus—and a few didn’t even show,” an anonymous top-level staffer told the site.
“We lost friggin’ people on the second ballot of voting in the caucus,” said the staffer. “Someone’s head had to roll.”
Another staffer was more frank: “It was a cluster-f—” said one. “A shit show,” said the person. “A f—ing disaster.”
Biden faces an even greater challenge in the upcoming New Hampshire primary, where a fiercely independent streak has given conservatives and anti-establishment Democrats like Sanders the edge historically while rejecting insiders like Biden.
That leaves the Feb. 29 South Carolina primary as Biden’s likely last stand. Due in large part to Biden’s name-recognition and affiliation with the Obama administration, he has been inordinately popular with black voters, who comprise a large portion of the Democratic vote in the Palmetto State.
“We believe South Carolina is our firewall and it is,” said a Biden adviser. “But if we lose three straight in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada, the fire can jump the wall.”
If Biden fails to claim the leap-year primary, he would likely have little momentum to carry into the Super Tuesday vote a few days later, on March 3.
Regardless of whether he can regain his political traction by relying on minority voters, Biden will have to do more with less should his financial backers begin jumping ship.
““Nevada is crying out for resources and we should give it to them, but some of us think we can rely on South Carolina and that’s a big mistake,” griped one campaign adviser.
“Bernie is on the move in Nevada. It’s a caucus state,” the person continued. “We just got crushed in a caucus state. Do the math.”