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Liberal Democrats don’t want Iowa to be the first primary state anymore: Fortune-SurveyMonkey Poll

February 14, 2020, 5:15 PM UTC

The chaos that surrounded the vote counts of the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 3 has yet to be resolved, with both Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg requesting recanvasses in multiple counties

But once the final votes are tallied—and the malfunctioning app the Iowa Democratic Committee tested on primary night is long sunsetted—the repercussions of the disastrous primary will still be felt by the party, according to a new Fortune-SurveyMonkey poll

Moderate Democrat Buttigieg, a 38-year-old upstart, was credited as winner of the first test of the 2020 election season. But Sanders wasn’t far behind him, and the shroud of mystery and uncertainty that enveloped the Iowa elections left Sanders supporters dissatisfied with, and unsure of, his loss. 

By a ratio of 8-to-1, very liberal Democrats oppose Iowa remaining the first primary state during the 2024 presidential election. That ratio is around 2-to-1 for liberal Democrats and moderate Democrats.

“All I can say about Iowa is it was an embarrassment. It was a disgrace to the good people of Iowa who take their responsibilities in the caucuses very seriously. They screwed it up badly, that is what the Iowa Democratic Party did,” Sanders told Jack Tapper on CNN’s State of the Union following the primary. 

Republicans, who voted overwhelmingly for President Donald Trump in their own caucus, had an unsurprisingly negative view of the Democratic caucuses. Approximately 67% said they had a negative impression, while just 47% of Democrats said they did. However, only 13% of Democrats had a positive impression of the Iowa Democratic caucus.

And despite the drama that surrounded the evening, and the months of campaigning that came before it, the vast majority of Democrats and Democratic leaners (86%) said that the results of the first primary did not change their mind about which presidential candidate they support. 

The Iowa caucus is typically characterized as a momentum-building race, and with only 41 pledged delegates awarded, it doesn’t do much to aid candidates in their quest to be the first to cinch the 2,376 out of 4,750 delegates needed to claim the nomination without contestation.

A win in Iowa is intended to convince voters in other, more delegate-heavy states that candidates are viable and exciting.

The results of this survey, which show that said momentum building didn’t do much to change the minds of Americans, shows that the theory may be wrong. 

Still, 68% of all Democrats and Democratic leaners say that they have confidence in the primary process’s ability to select the best presidential candidate, though moderate and conservative Democrats were slightly more likely to say they were confident than liberal or very liberal Democrats (71% vs. 66%). 

Fortune-SurveyMonkey polled 1,667 Americans between February 10 and 11, 2020. Our poll has a 3.5% margin of error.

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Republicans, who voted overwhelmingly for President Donald Trump in their own caucus, had an unsurprisingly negative view of the Democratic caucuses, 67% thought said they had a negative impression while just 47% of Democrats said that they did. The majority of Independent voters, meanwhile, 55%, had neither a positive or negative view of the caucuses.