On Monday, Feb. 3, the 2020 election cycle saw its first major contest: the Iowa caucuses. The caucuses, held in place of a primary, are the traditional kickoff of the primary cycle and mark the first decisions that voters make in a presidential election. Unfortunately, the 2020 cycle didn't quite go as planned. Now, the Iowa caucus disaster spawned numerous memes, all of which make clear that this whole situation is a hot mess.
While the caucuses were held on Monday, as of the morning of Tuesday, Feb. 4, the Democratic caucus results were still not available, prompting outrage and conspiracy theories from Democratic voters across the country. According to the Associated Press, a new mobile app commissioned by the Iowa Democratic Party to track and quickly gather results was responsible for much of the confusion on Monday night. Glitches reportedly forced party leaders to record votes manually and call them in, slowing the results and introducing the possibility for errors.
But the app's malfunction has also generated multiple conspiracy theories. Forbes reported the app was built by a tech startup called Shadow, which was founded by former Hillary Clinton campaign staffers. Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings show that Shadow reportedly received $42,500 from Mayor Pete Buttigieg for “software rights and subscriptions." That fact, coupled with Buttigieg prematurely declaring victory in Iowa, prompted speculation that the South Bend mayor's campaign had something to do with the Iowa caucus debacle. Elite Daily reached out to the Buttigieg campaign for comment, but did not immediately hear back. According to Forbes, former Vice President Joe Biden also gave $1,225 to Shadow. The Biden campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Elite Daily.
The confusion, delay, and rumors of bad behavior are definitely not a good start for the 2020 election. But Twitter users have come up with a variety of memes about this bad omen to capture just how the disastrous the situation really is.
Amid the chaos following the Iowa caucuses, the state's Democratic Party leadership announced on Feb. 4 that at least half of the caucus results could be expected by 5 p.m. ET. According to NBC News, Iowa has 41 pledged delegates available, which is not a huge percentage of the 1,991 pledged delegates a candidate must win to earn the Democratic nomination. However, the state is typically considered a high-stakes caucus in most electoral cycles for its role as an omen of races to come. But even before the dust settles in Iowa, the Democratic presidential candidates have started making their way to New Hampshire, which will vote in the country's first (official) presidential primaries on Tuesday, Feb. 11.