On Monday night, February 3, Democrats all over the United States were anxious to find out who won the 2020 Democratic Iowa Caucuses. But thanks to a malfunction with a vote-counting app, Iowa Democrats were still counting the votes three days later — and on Friday morning, February 7, it remained unclear whether the winner was former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg or Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, although Buttigieg seemed to be slightly ahead in the vote count (with former Vice President Joe Biden in a disappointing fourth place). Journalist Joan Walsh, in an article for The Nation, asserts that the mainstream media have been missing an important story: Sen. Elizabeth Warren, seemingly in third place, outperformed Biden in Iowa.
"Iowa conventional wisdom says there are only 'three tickets out' of the caucuses, and yet, coverage has curiously overlooked the woman who got one of them: Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren," Walsh observes. "From the moment cable networks switched from her caucus night rally speech to Biden's, Warren has been virtually erased. As the fight for first place continued into Thursday, I have watched cable news panels mention Warren only in passing, if at all."
Warren, Walsh emphasizes, "clearly beat the Democratic frontrunner Biden."
"Despite being derided as a New England progressive who might not connect with heavily rural and suburban Iowa," Walsh explains, Warren "beat two rivals who were said to have the inside track with those voters: Biden and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who came in at a disappointing fifth place."
Many pundits have been stressing that if Biden, after being disappointed in Iowa, doesn't perform well in the New Hampshire Democratic primary, his campaign could be in trouble — and that a poor performance in that New England state could weaken his "firewall" of support in the forthcoming South Carolina Democratic Primary. But Walsh poses a question: what happens if Biden's campaign falls apart and Democrats fear that Buttigieg is too inexperienced?
"The conventional wisdom is that Buttigieg would be the 'moderate' beneficiary if Biden and Klobuchar depart," Walsh notes. "That's certainly possible. But for anyone concerned that the 38-year-old former South Bend mayor doesn't have the experience to run the country, Warren might provide an alternative."