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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Dirty Trick in Iowa?

In Defying the Odds, we discuss the 2016 campaign. The 2019 update includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms. The 2020 race, the subject of our next book, has begun.

Tyler Pager and Jennifer Epstein at Bloomberg:
Supporters of President Donald Trump flooded a hotline used by Iowa precinct chairs to report Democratic caucus results after the telephone number was posted online, worsening delays in the statewide tally, a top state Democrat told party leaders on a conference call Wednesday night.

According to two participants on the call, Ken Sagar, a state Democratic central committee member, was among those answering the hotline on caucus night and said people called in and expressed support for Trump. The phone number became public after people posted photos of caucus paperwork that included the hotline number, one of the people on the call said.

The phone call Wednesday night between the Iowa Democratic Party staff and state central committee, the party’s elected governing body, came as the party was still counting results.

Several glitches, including problems with a new phone application that was supposed to quickly send individual caucus results to the state party, plagued Iowa’s troubled caucuses, causing the outcome to be delayed for days. More than 48 hours after caucusing began, the party had reported results from 96% of precincts and the race was too close to call.
 Ben Collins, Maura Barrett and Vaughn Hillyard at NBC:
Users on a politics-focused section of the fringe 4chan message board repeatedly posted the phone number for the Iowa Democratic Party, which was found by a simple Google search, both as screenshots and in plain text, alongside instructions.

"They have to call in the results now. Very long hold times being reported. Phone line being clogged," one user posted at about 11 p.m. ET on Monday, three hours after the caucuses began.

"Uh oh how unfortunate it would be for a bunch of mischief makers to start clogging the lines," responded another anonymous user, sarcastically.

Some users chimed in, posting alleged wait times on hold, imploring others to “clog the lines [and] make the call lads.”