The Iowa caucus results are delayed due to issues with a smartphone app developed by a company called Shadow, which reportedly received money from the Nevada and Iowa Democratic Party as well as the campaign of Pete Buttigieg. The former South Bend mayor is now facing criticism for claiming victory early, with many pointing to his alleged donation to the company and accusing him of cheating.
Newsweek reports that the scandal has pushed #MayorCheat into the top Twitter trends on Monday evening, and it remains in first place on Tuesday morning.
Buttigieg claimed victory in a video posted to Twitter Monday night as well as in a series of tweets. Needless to say, the response has not been kind to Buttigieg.
“Bernie won, Andrew Yang did well and #MayorCheat trying to steal the election. What will be done about this? #IowaCaucus,” tweeted Democratic congressional candidate James Ellars.
“Did anyone else notice how the data stopped coming in once Sanders overtook #MayorCheat in the results?” asked podcaster Benjamin Dixon of Progressive Army.
One user suggested that #MayorCheat was being amplified by Russian propaganda, to which Bernie Sanders delegate Rafael Shimunov responded.
“Pretty sure #MayorCheat is trending because Buttigieg claimed victory then later released numbers that they were referencing which had him in second. You know, cheating.”
According to data released by Sanders’ campaign, the Vermont Sen. was in the lead per the campaign’s internal caucus numbers, which are based on data from almost 40 percent of Iowa’s precincts.
— Nina Turner (@ninaturner) February 4, 2020
The official results of the Iowa caucuses will reportedly be released later on Tuesday. Although Associated Press reported that the results were not hacked, skepticism continues due to Shadow’s alleged ties to the Democratic establishment and Buttigieg’s early victory declaration.
Pressed by CNN reporter DJ Judd on Tuesday morning, Buttigieg refused to answer the question whether it was premature of him to declare victory before official results were released.
After his coffee with Nashua Mayor Jim Donchess, I asked Pete Buttigieg if it was premature to declare a victory in Iowa last night. He declined to respond. pic.twitter.com/QiiBilRP2C
— DJ Judd (@DJJudd) February 4, 2020
During an appearance on CBS This Morning on Tuesday, Buttigieg appeared to remain committed to his alleged win and claimed that it was not premature to declare victory, Newsweek reports.
“Looking at what happened last night, looking at all of the data that we’ve got, it was an extraordinary night,” he said, claiming that his campaign is “absolutely victorious” as it enters New Hampshire and saying he is preparing for a “historic week” ahead.
According to Buttigieg, a paper process will confirm his victory.
“It’s verifiable, but still very very frustrating,” he said.