Solid Muslim support for a Jewish candidate should be a big story

The Iowa caucuses had satellite sites for various groups that could not make it to the regular precincts and here is one report from a Muslim Community Center where 99% of the 200 people present voted for Bernie Sanders and awarded him all nine delegates.

The next video follows a group of Sanders volunteers and shows how a trilingual satellite caucus that included Latino and Sudanese communities came out overwhelmingly for Sanders.

These are the kinds of things hat give me hope because they show that ordinary people can overcome the sectarian divisiveness that is foisted on them by the top and come together at ground level for the common good when they have a candidate that stands up for them. As the volunteer says at the end, when people speak disparagingly of ‘Bernie bros’, they have clearly not seen the wide diversity of people who are enthusiastically supporting him.

Meanwhile, the mess in Iowa just keeps getting worse as the party officials keep the process opaque and delay or report incorrect numbers.

The Iowa Democratic party then reported different numbers from what the precinct people had reported.

It is a good rule of thumb to resist assigning to malice anything that can be ascribed to incompetence or stupidity. But the scale of the ongoing Iowa debacle is starting to make people wonder if there is more going on than utter incompetence and the opacity of the process is what fosters all manner of dark theories, such as that the Iowa Democratic party establishment, like its national counterpart, is worried about Sanders winning and is trying to boost Pete Buttigieg’s standing as the anti-Sanders candidate by delaying and distorting the results. Now the chair of the DNC Tom Perez has called on the state party to ‘recanvass’ (a review of the worksheets from each caucus site) the results.

Meanwhile, the initial messaging that the Iowa turnout was low, signifying lack of enthusiasm among Democrats, also turns out to be false with the (almost) final numbers showing that this was the second highest turnout ever, beating the 2016 numbers.

Just for fun, here is someone who set a clip of Sanders’s striding along to the sound of the Bee Gees. Watch out, John Travolta!


  1. Holms says

    As the volunteer says at the end, when people speak disparagingly of ‘Bernie bros’…

    I’ve been waiting since his first election run for people to point to concrete evidence that Bernie’s fans are somehow more obnoxious than other political groups, or that his support contains a larger number of obnoxious people, or something. The examples I have seen lately have been especially lame: a person was not swayed from their support of Bernie by shallow, unevidenced arguments? Clearly a Bernie Bro!

  2. anat says

    Re: Conspiracy theories -- if the Democratic establishment were actively falsifying the results, why do it for Buttigieg rather than someone from actually within the establishment, like Biden?

  3. Mano Singham says

    anat @#2,

    I think the speculation is that Biden was too low down in the numbers to make sense to try and improve his standing. Buttigieg is seen as the person to pick up Biden’s mantle if he should falter.


    The turnout was around 240,000 in 2008, a record. It was much lower in 2016, around 170,000 but still the second highest. This time, the numbers were slightly higher than in 2016 but not as high as one would like to see.

  4. Who Cares says

    I subscribe to the incompetence rather then malice effect.
    Reason is that I help with the elections here as data typist. Basically I’m the in the group of people who finally put the numbers on the ballots in the computer. People can’t count, people can’t copy numbers from page X to page Y. People put tally marks in the wrong columns, etc. And that is just the preliminary count at the precinct level. It is not too strange since those people have been there from 6 AM to at least 9 PM before they can start the tallying process.
    Then the people doing the second count at the central location redo all those mistakes again and things have to be reconciled by at the level where I and others are waiting. Oh and then we make mistakes when feeding the computer which is why all numbers are done two times, each time by a different person, and on a flagged mistake yet another person has to do the feeding as well.
    At this point the person in charge goes “Fuck it. These numbers need to be sent out before the newspapers get printed” (since it is between 11 PM and 4 AM) so starts correcting the minor mistakes made (a vote here, 3 votes there, an improved total at this point and so on) instead of having to get the people manning the different layers redo all the counting.

    And that is how you get discrepancies when a random sample is taken to check on irregularities.
    That said if someone knows a better process I (and hopefully the politicians over here) are all ears.

  5. says

    This post does raise a point that I, as an Iowan, hadn’t really questioned: How did they determine how many delegates go to these satellite caucuses? My understanding of the regular caucuses is that delegates are based on how many people in a precinct voted for the Democratic candidate in the highest office in 2018 (which would be governor) and 2016 (which would be president, of course). What was the formula for these satellite sites? There’s also a concern that people in locations without satellite sites would be totally left out. (I note that many satellite sites were in Florida, presumably mainly for retirees at their winter residence, though I had seen that at least one was in Scotland, of all places!) We really need to get rid of this caucus system. We need to find a way, I think, to preserve the idea of people being delegates to county conventions, though. I think that’s good for party involvement.

    As for turnout, well…my precinct was down from about 160 people in 2016 to 128 this year. It’s good to hear turnout was higher in other places, but it was not consistent. Also, we were being told to expect about a 25% increase and so it seems turnout fell short of expectations, even if it was overall higher than 4 years ago.

    On a last note, I appreciate Who Cares adding information as to how this looks from a data entry person. I would add that, as I understand a CBS reporter noted, this is what Sanders wanted. He wanted more transparency and so we are now recording more information along the way to those final results. This is generally good, but a problem it introduces that I don’t think many people are considering, is that it introduces more points for a noticeable error to be introduced. I stress “noticeable” because, in the past, it would be likely that an error may not even get documented and so no one would be the wiser come the final total at a precinct. Now that we’re documenting more, the errors get documented. I don’t think this is a bad thing, but, as I’ve been saying for days now, this whole situation has been blown out of proportion by the media and even the campaigns themselves. It seems no one really considered the consequences of the changes made this year and people are simply being caught off guard when those chickens came home to roost.

    As for a better process, I would think again it would be to get away from this caucus process and probably go to a primary process or some hybrid of the two.

    The last thing I have to note is that, as an Iowan, my anecdotal experiences were telling me that Buttigieg was doing well here in Iowa. I knew for certain that he had a lot of support in the upper middle class neighborhoods of Marion. (I’m an engineer and many of my engineering coworkers live in those neighborhoods.) It also appears that he did well in the rural areas based on the results. This isn’t really surprising. His campaign’s goal here, according to one of his campaign managers from this county that I met once, was to target those they believe voted for Obama in ’08 and ’12, but turned to Trump in ’16. I have my doubts as to how many such people actually exist, but that essentially meant they were targeting white moderates. So that’s going to be the wealthier people in the suburbs who care less about social justice issues and those in rural areas with more conservative leanings.

  6. says

    Oh, I do have to note that, while Bernie Bros are likely a minority of Sanders’ supporters, they are a very toxic minority and they are very vocal and outspoken. Some of them have popular platforms on YouTube. Krystal Ball is one such example. (Yeah, she’s a woman. Bernie Bros don’t need to be male.) These Bernie Bros don’t stand for the common good. They don’t even stand for Bernie’s message of “Not me, us.” Sure, they’ll spread that message, as I have seen Ball do, but time and time again, they make it abundantly clear that it’s all about Bernie and anyone who dares disagree ever so slightly with them is a terrible person that’s part of this conspiracy to defend the establishment.
    I, as someone who has been pointing out, as I’ve done here, that this situation in Iowa isn’t as bad and, sorry, but Buttigieg was popular here, have received all kinds of name calling and insults from Bernie Bros. It’s very discouraging. I’d be happy if Bernie were the nominee (Warren is my preferred candidate, but my political ideology aligns more with Bernie), but, damnit I’m worried about these Bernie Bros self-destructing his campaign! I think it’s a mistake to ignore them simply for being a minority. Have we not learned from the self-implosion of the atheist movement? That’s why I worry about the Bernie Bros! As we had with the atheist movement, we had these people pretending to be concerned about women’s rights and how women are treated under religion that turned around and told women to STFU as soon as atheist women started to ask for better treatment at conferences. I have similar concerns with these Bernie Bros who will claim to be standing up for the well being of people and fighting for those they don’t know, but are quick to engage in name calling and throwing out insults at progressives who don’t toe the line.

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