Late night hosts thrash Iowa Democrats for the caucus debacle, offer an easy fix for their wonky app

Late night hosts poke Iowa Democrats
(Image credit: Screenshots/YouTube/The Daily Show, Late Night,The Late Show, Conan)

Last night, "the great state of confusion formerly known as Iowa" was supposed to kick off the 2020 election with its Democratic caucus, Stephen Colbert said on Tuesday's Late Show. "Instead, they kicked democracy right in the ol' hanging chad." All night and most of Tuesday, "every district was officially reporting at zero," he said. "Or as Tom Steyer would say, 'I'm tied for first!'"

"We've known for the last three years that this is the most important election of our lifetime, and on Day 1, the Democrats down in Des Moines shanked it," Colbert said. The main problem was a wonky app "developed by a company called — and this is real — Shadow Inc. The app was supposed to count the votes and, I think, kill James Bond?" He showed clips from the chaos. "Some people say that this debacle is going to end the Iowa caucus," he said. "But others are more optimistic and say it's going to end Iowa."

Like Colbert, Conan O'Brien showed the "insane clip" of an Iowa woman "finding out Pete Buttigieg is gay — after she voted for him." Unlike The Late Show, Conan created some parody videos.

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Late Night's Seth Meyers compared the "weirdo antiquated" Iowa caucuses to "musical chairs meets debate class meets a slow gas leak." Look, he said, "I have nothing against old fashioned ways of doing things as long as its not for something important. If your friend brews his own beer, that's great; if your doctor still uses leeches, you get a new doctor."

"Iowans, I feel for you," Meyers said. "You take this seriously and it wasn't your fault the Iowa Democratic Party let you down. But you do know this was your last caucus, right? When you blow it this bad, you don't get another chance."

"It's a little embarrassing for the world's greatest democracy to have such a hard time counting votes," Trevor Noah said at The Daily Show. "Maybe next time, Africa should send some election observers to Iowa." The Iowa caucus debacle "never would have happened if the Democrats didn't try to rely on that new fancy app," he said. "Luckily, though, there's a hot new solution that just came out of Silicon Valley that can fix voting forever."

The Late Show was on the same page, except instead of The Daily Show's PAyPR "app," Colbert's team went with pāpr. Watch below. Peter Weber

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