Speed Reads

2020 iowa caucuses

Iowa Democratic Party offers vague explanations for slow results, but high turnout isn't the culprit

The Iowa Democratic Party is experimenting with greater transparency in its first-in-the-nation caucuses this year, and it seems to be a work in progress. As they say, watching how the sausage is made is not particularly appetizing.

After delays in reporting its three sets of results, the Iowa Democratic Party released a statement Monday night saying that "integrity of the results is paramount." The delays, said IDP communications director Mandy McClure, are "due to quality checks and the fact that the IDP is reporting out three data sets for the first time. What we know right now is that around 25 percent of precincts have reported, and early data indicates turnout is on pace for 2016." McClure then issued a second statement, citing "inconsistencies" in results.

For NBC News' Alex Seitz-Wald, the "big news here is turnout," because the 2016 turnout was "low," about 172,000, compared with a record 240,000 in 2008." As for what "quality checks" mean, reporter Ben Jacobs takes a stab at putting this in context.

Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), who is as sick of the Iowa caucus as anybody else who doesn't live in the Hawkeye State, has little sympathy for the naysayers.

It could be worse. In the 2012 Iowa Republican caucus, Seitz-Wald reminds everyone, "Mitt Romney was initially declared the winner and they later realized Rick Santorum won." That's low bar, Iowa Democrats.