Trump declares ‘win’ amid Iowa Democrat chaos



Chaos in the Iowa Democratic caucuses, where contest results have been delayed by technical glitches, have been seized upon by Donald Trump as a victory.

Mr Trump tweeted that the debacle was an “unmitigated disaster”, suggesting it was proof that Democrats could not be trusted to lead.

“The only person that can claim a very big victory in Iowa last night is ‘Trump’,” he wrote.

Democratic Party officials blamed a “reporting issue”.

Votes will be tabulated by hand and reported later on Tuesday, officials said.

However, the indeterminate result on the night has created scepticism of the caucus process and reignited questions over whether Iowa – a rural, white state not representative of the US electorate as a whole – should continue to be the place to hold the first primary contest.

Mr Trump dismissed the suggestion. “As long as I am President, Iowa will stay where it is. Important tradition!” he tweeted.

Democrats hoping to take him on in this year’s election, on the other hand, have set their sights forward.

Many have already landed in New Hampshire, where the next primary contest is due to be held on Tuesday, 11 February.

What happened at the caucuses?

On Monday, voters flocked to more than 1,600 schools, libraries and churches in Iowa to have their say in who should be on the ballot in the November presidential election.

Mr Trump easily won the Republican contest, but a winner was not declared in the Democratic contest.

Despite the absence of results, several candidates are claiming victory.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders spoke of winning in Iowa’s caucuses, citing internal campaign data that placed him ahead of Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana.

Earlier, Mr Buttigieg told supporters that “by all indications” his campaign was “going to New Hampshire victorious”.

The vote in Iowa was a caucus – which involves people attending a meeting before voting on a candidate, perhaps via a head count or a show of hands.

Voters in primaries – like the vote in New Hampshire – can just turn up at a polling booth and vote in secret

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