Feb 6, 2020

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 461 words, a 2-minute read.

Situational awareness: "Los Angeles will host a public memorial Feb. 24 at Staples Center for Kobe Bryant and eight others killed last month in a helicopter crash," L.A. Times reports.

1 big thing: Iowa's hanging chads

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The stakes aren't quite the same, but the Iowa Caucuses are increasingly looking like Florida 2000.

Why it matters: Apps are the new hanging chads, and good luck convincing people to vote with apps after what they saw play out this week.

The big picture: The Iowa Democratic Party has a crisis of its own making, with ramifications that affect the national party as well as the future of voting.

  • The app glitched on caucus day, with precinct leaders struggling to send in their results.
  • The Iowa Democratic Party botched their planning, with confusion reigning on election night and a lack of viable backup options to stop the bleeding.
  • Posters on 4chan reportedly shared the phone number of the caucus results line and encouraged readers to "clog the lines."
  • When results finally came out 48 hours later, they included a series of errors that the state party didn't catch during what it claimed was a thorough process.
  • Now the state party and DNC are at loggerheads over a "recanvass," with the state party saying the DNC doesn't get to decide.

Between the lines: The issues on election night have combined with a series of errors that make it unclear whether there will ever be a "completely precise account" of Iowa 2020, the N.Y. Times notes.

  • "[M]ore than 100 precincts reported results that were internally inconsistent, that were missing data or that were not possible under the complex rules."
  • "In some cases, vote tallies do not add up. In others, precincts are shown allotting the wrong number of delegates to certain candidates. And in at least a few cases, the Iowa Democratic Party’s reported results do not match those reported by the precincts."

Go deeper: For those who need a reminder about hanging chads, this NPR story will help

Bonus: Pic du jour

Photo: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

A Chinese boy wears a protective mask as he hits a snowball thrown at him in a park in Beijing.

  • Some 350 Americans are in quarantine after landing in California on State Department-chartered flights from Wuhan.
  • Go deeper.
2. What you missed
  1. Trump used his National Prayer Breakfast speech to take a swipe at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) over their roles in his impeachment. Go deeper.
  2. Pelosi's response: Trump used "the Congress of the United States as a backdrop for a reality show, presenting a state of mind that had no contact with reality whatsoever." Go deeper.
  3. The Transportation Department is giving its blessing to the first autonomous vehicle with no steering wheel, pedals or human occupant. Go deeper.
  4. The job market looks to be picking up steam and shaking off any hints of the slowdown economists predicted. Go deeper.
  5. Senate Intel released the third volume of its report on foreign interference in the 2016 election. Go deeper.
3. 1 fun thing

Photo: Mercedes-Benz

Van camping, meet van glamping: Mercedes-Benz is rolling out a van camper, USA Today reports.

  • "The Mercedes-Benz Weekender will be built in North Charleston, South Carolina, in partnership with classic-camper repair and restoration shop Peace Vans and Driverge Vehicle Innovations."
  • The "Weekender is 'harkening back to the glory days of camper vans,' the company said in a statement."
Mike Allen