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Iowa Democratic Party Botches Caucus Ballot Count, Gift Joe Biden a Second Chance

NEWTON, Iowa—Inside the caucus at the Fore Seasons Practice Center, a golf bar 40 miles east of Des Moines, Biden precinct chairman George Simpson came ready to court his neighbors. 

While the other candidate tables were scattered with buttons and stickers bearing their candidate’s name, Simpson’s had cookies, soft drinks, coffee, and water. 

Former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg took home the biggest payload with two delegates, but former Vice President Joe Biden—along with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and businessman Andrew Yang—secured one delegate.  

“I’m surprised the way it went, I’m happy about the way it went,” he said. 

Such was the way the night went for Biden, the once clear, now former, Democratic presidential frontrunner. What seemed destined to be a somber night for his campaign ended up salvaged in the most absurd of ways. The inability of the state Democratic Party to count ballots using a new, untested app led to mass confusion and simmering anger among the campaigns. In that milieu, Biden’s bleak showing morphed into something else: a second chance.