Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) may yet win the Iowa caucuses outright because of delegates elected by voters overseas, out of state, or at college, according to a new “satellite” system Democrats set up for the 2020 presidential primary election.
On Thursday, Sanders declared victory in the Iowa caucuses, after delayed results showed he had a lead in the popular vote, with 97% of precincts reporting.
Sanders noted that he had won by about 6,000 votes on the first “alignment,” even though his lead slipped on the second ballot that determined the allocation of actual delegates.
Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg still held a slim 3-delegate lead.
Buttigieg’s delegate lead had previously been far larger, and seemed to be slipping fast, with 54 precincts yet to be counted.
And as CNN correspondent Ryan Nobles reported, many of those precincts were not actually in Iowa, but in the “satellite” caucuses that the Iowa Democratic Party set up for the first time.
As Breitbart News reported last year, the national party leadership rejected proposals to expand access to caucuses by allowing voters to participate by telephone, citing the potential for fraud. However, Iowa was allowed to set up “satellite” caucuses — within Iowa, in other states, and even in foreign countries.
The image above, for example, was taken by the Associated Press at an Iowa caucus in Paris, France.
The list of “satellite” caucuses also included several on university campuses, as The Hill reported:
Iowa Democrats set up 87 satellite caucuses, including 60 for in-state voters with specific needs and 27 for voters who are out of state, including those even out of the country, with three international caucuses in Glasgow, Scotland; Tbilisi, Georgia; and Paris. The party had tested satellite caucuses previously but greatly increased the effort this year.
Out of these, the caucuses included 14 in workplace-related locations such as hospitals, 24 on college campuses, 29 to accommodate accessibility needs, 11 for people with language or cultural accommodations and nine for those who winter outside the Hawkeye State.
Sanders is thought to be particularly strong among college students. He also has strong name recognition, a factor that could give him an advantage in the “Iowa caucuses” held abroad.
Democrats have pushed for new measures to expand “access” to voting, against Republican concerns that some new arrangements increase opportunities for fraud and manipulation.
Now Democrats confront the difficult questions they once dismissed.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.