GOP strong and unified in Iowa; Trump uncontested with record-breaking caucus turnout as Dems in disarray

The scene could not have been more different for 2020 contenders as Iowa Republican and Democratic caucuses unfolded.

In coverage of the first-in-the-nation contests for the presidential election, viewers at home were presented with polar opposite pictures of packed Republican caucus venues supporting an uncontested President Donald Trump and Democrats in seeming disarray as CNN grappled with presenting some semblance of reporting on Democrat voting results.

Dozens of high-profile Republicans, including the president’s son Donald Trump Jr., spread out across the state in support of Trump who was called the winner of the first presidential nominating events of 2020 by the Associated Press.

The Republican race was called at 7:25 p.m. Central Time, only 25 minutes after the voting began, and Trump easily won with 97% of the GOP vote against former Massachusetts Governor William Weld and former Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh, who each garnered 1% of the votes.

Louisiana GOP Rep. Steve Scalise shared photos of Team Trump members, including members of the president’s family, who were “out in full force” Monday night.

Earlier in the day, Trump Jr., his girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle and brother Eric held a news conference in West Des Moines.

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, New York Rep. Elise Stefanik and others made their way to caucus sites crowded with Trump supporters.


Trump touted the phenomenal results Tuesday morning, claiming record-breaking votes in the state caucus:

Meanwhile, for Democrats, things looked decidedly different as the night ended with no official vote totals in what Trump’s campaign manager Brad Parscale called “the sloppiest train wreck in history.”

Before the Iowa Democratic Party blamed “inconsistencies” in some precinct reporting, the coverage at several caucus venues probably left many CNN viewers disappointed at best.

“CNN’s early evening Iowa caucuses coverage offered up a journalistic case study of cable news trying to manufacture coherent news out of random data points and anecdotal moments,” media critic Reed Richardson wrote in an opinion piece published by Mediaite.

(Source: CNN)

“With reporters stationed at just a handful of the 1,600 precincts caucusing on Monday night, CNN was mightily trying to grapple with a state-wide election that it only had a granular view of, at best,” he added. “The fluid nature of the vote effectively rendered CNN’s attempts to understand in real-time a pointless effort.”

CNN correspondent Brian Todd delivered a breathless account from Sioux City where he explained that “any second now, they’re going to give the signal” and “we’re going to see very soon where the critical mass is for these candidates.”

Dana Bash responded to host Wolf Blitzer’s question about the size of the caucus in Des Moines where she was reporting from with a simple, “It’s big.”

Jake Tapper, also at the Des Moines site, was no less vague, describing the groups for 2020 contenders Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren as well as Pete Buttigieg as “big.”

“Clearly a number of groups that won’t meet the 15% eligibility threshold. One thing that’s interesting, I want to point out, is that caucuses are all about passion, who can get there to advocate for them on a winter night in February?” Tapper said.

“The Yang gang is a bigger gang than the Biden gang, it’s very clear,” he added, with a string attached: “It’s one precinct. It doesn’t necessarily mean anything.”

Media critic Jack Shafer, among others, took apart the CNN reporting fiasco.


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