Media ignore the real story: Biden flops in Iowa; Buttigieg and Bernie voters’ top picks

Wednesday's Example of Media Bias   —   Posted on February 5, 2020

Timothy P. Carney, Feb. 4, 2020, 7:46 AM — Come on, we basically know how Iowa voted: Against Biden

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa — As of 6:30 a.m. CDT the day after the Iowa Caucuses, media outlets had results from 0% of Iowa precincts, and 90% of the media reaction to the caucuses was about the state Democratic Party’s failure to get and report results.

But we shouldn’t pretend the results are a total mystery. From data reported by campaigns and media outlets, three things are pretty clear:

1.) Joe Biden bombed, finishing a distant fourth.
2.) Bernie Sanders was at or near the top of the field.
3.) Pete Buttigieg outperformed the polls to finish at or near the top.

Data as of Feb. 4, 2020, 7 p.m. ET

The large campaigns have precinct captains in nearly every precinct who call in results. The Sanders campaign released all the results it had, coming from about 40% of precincts, and it showed, by all three counts, Sanders winning with nearly 30%, Buttigieg in second, Elizabeth Warren in third, and Biden way back in fourth. The Warren campaign said its numbers showed Biden also in a distant fourth. The Biden campaign hasn’t reported any results.

Nearly every reporter who reported results last night showed Biden underperforming. (In the two precincts I covered, Biden wasn’t viable and actually had fewer supporters than Andrew Yang.)

The details are murky. There will be three different sets of numbers, and so, there could be two different “winners.” You can’t place too much stake in partial numbers from an interested party. Maybe Buttigieg will win by one or two measures. Probably Sanders will. Maybe Warren will be close, and maybe she’s in a distant third.

  • But definitely, Biden bombed. He was first or second in all the polls, he is the former vice president, he has near universal name ID — and yet he finished fourth.
  • Biden’s campaign can claim the whole process is tainted by the reporting problem, but the press shouldn’t let him obscure what we know: He failed in Iowa, again.
  • On his first time out campaigning without Barack Obama, Biden failed miserably. That much we know.

Regular people don’t care about technical failures of the Iowa Democratic Party. They want to know the results. And so, the headlines should be this: Biden collapses in Iowa.

(by Timothy P. Carney, Feb. 4, 2020, 7:46 AM,