MANCHESTER, New Hampshire — Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) campaign manager slammed the Iowa Democratic Party’s handling of the Iowa caucus in comments following the eighth Democrat debate on Friday evening. In addition to other reported irregularities, an app meant to count the caucus results failed.
“I think the Iowa Caucus was an abysmal moment of incompetence, and the Iowa Democratic Party should be ashamed of the way they handled it,” said Faiz Shakir, Sanders’ campaign manager.
Sanders was leading in the polls before the caucus and led the popular vote. However, he somehow ended up with the same number of delegates as former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg after the results were finally announced several days later.
The failure of the app — which was developed by a company to which the Buttigieg campaign paid tens of thousands of dollars — led Sanders’ supporters to trend “Mayor Cheat” on Twitter and argue that the Iowa Democratic Party rigged the results to prevent Sanders from winning the first-in-the-nation caucus.
Shakir also said he hoped that next time around, Democrats would assess the entire primary schedule and if Iowa should be rewarded by going first. He said one idea is to allow voting first in the battleground states that candidates would have to win in a general election.
“We should assess as a party the entire schedule,” he said. “Imagine if, let’s say a Michigan or Pennsylvania or Minnesota or Arizona or North Carolina or Florida were one of the early states that everyone was forced to go and compete early in those places and help build what would end up being a general election argument.”
“I think we as a party should think about reevaluating the process,” he added.
The campaign is taking a deeper look at the results of the Iowa caucus, which Shakir said was not finished yet.