DES MOINES — Tom Perez is “mad as hell” and Troy Price is “disappointed” by that comment.
The national and state leaders of the Democratic Party expressed those sentiments while Iowa Democrats continued their effort, a week later, to clean up the botched reporting of their February 3 presidential precinct caucuses.
Local officials reported experiencing myriad issues with a new online program designed to transmit caucus results from precinct leaders to state officials, and backup systems did not work as intended, said Price, the Iowa Democratic Party chairman.
As a result, the state party did not publish complete caucus results until Thursday night, 72 hours after the caucuses.
Addressing the situation during an interview Sunday on CNN, Perez, the Democratic National Committee chairman, said he is “mad as hell,” and that the situation is “undeniably unacceptable.”
Price was asked about Perez’s comments during a news conference Monday in Des Moines.
“Obviously I was very disappointed by the chairman’s comments,” Price said. “You know, this has been a full partnership with the DNC throughout this entire time. And what I will say is we’ve got a job to do, and that is to finish up this process.”
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Price said two presidential campaigns requested a partial recanvass of the caucus results. The Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg campaigns — the two who were most successful in Iowa — have requested the party recanvass a total of 143 of the more than 1,700 precincts.
Any adjustments could impact the outcome of the caucuses, because the results were historically close.
Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, holds a microscopic lead over Sanders, the U.S. senator from Vermont: 26.2% of the state delegate equivalents to 26.1%.
Based on those results, Buttigieg earned 14 national delegates — which ultimately decide the Democratic presidential nomination — and Sanders 12 national delegates.
The Sanders campaign believes it has found enough errors that would award him one more national delegate, the campaign said.
“Our volunteers and supporters worked too hard, and too many people participated for the first time to have the results depend on calculations that even the party admits are incorrect,” Sanders campaign senior adviser Jeff Weaver said in a statement. “Once the recanvass and a subsequent recount are completed in these precincts, we feel confident we will be awarded the extra national delegate our volunteers and grassroots donors earned.”
Price said he could not project how long the recanvass process will take. He also noted a recanvass is just the first step, after which campaigns will have the option to request a recount. Only during a recount can the caucus results be altered, Price said.
“In this caucus, our work is not done. Despite the challenges we face, together we will see this through to completion,” Price said.