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Delawareans campaign for Biden in Iowa caucuses

Former Vice President Joe Biden got some help from the homefront during Monday’s Iowa caucuses. 

State Rep. Krista Griffith was among a group of Delawareans at caucus sites in Iowa Monday, trying to drum up support for the former vice president and Delaware senator in the first Democratic presidential primary contest

Griffith says the precinct in Hiawatha she campaigned at ended up assigning one of its three delegates to Biden. The others went to former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar. 

“You think, is this representative of what’s happening in other precincts?” she said. “What we learned later in the night talking to other volunteers was it wasn’t. Different rooms had different results.”

State Rep. Paul Baumbach also supported Biden as a precinct captain for the campaign at a caucus site in Cedar Rapids. Baumbach says Biden cleared the 15 percent viability threshold at his location, then gained several additional votes during the second alignment of the caucus.   

“We were working hard at people who were coming in not certain to see if we could get them to come over to Joe’s camp for the first round,” he said. “Then we worked very hard in the second round to get [an additional] ten.”

Reading the caucus outcome was complicated by a delay in getting results caused by trouble with a new app the Iowa Democratic Party used to report them.

Baumbach says the delay in the results may end up helping Biden.

“Since Biden has been the one who has the greatest support in the nationwide polls— I think what you worry about with Iowa is a surprise winner and a big bounce for that surprise winner,” he said. “Well, that assumes you actually find out that night.”

Baumbach adds the President’s State of the Union address Tuesday and the Senate’s impeachment vote Wednesday may drown out the results. 

NPR reports a representative from the Biden campaign demanded "full explanations" from the Iowa Democratic Party and called the issues with the app and backup telephonic reporting system “acute failures.”

“Joe’s been great for Delaware and Delaware’s been great for Joe,” said Baumbach. “I think he’s got the best chance to beat president Trump in November. And I think that’s best for our country.” 

President Donald Trump won the Republican Iowa caucuses Monday.

Sophia Schmidt is a Delaware native. She comes to Delaware Public Media from NPR’s Weekend Edition in Washington, DC, where she produced arts, politics, science and culture interviews. She previously wrote about education and environment for The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, MA. She graduated from Williams College, where she studied environmental policy and biology, and covered environmental events and local renewable energy for the college paper.