When Will We Have Results in Iowa?

The question for watchers of election nights everywhere is always the same: How late am I going to have to stay up for this?

Some states have consistent enough histories to allow that question to be answered with relative confidence. Iowa is not one of them.

Typically, precincts in Iowa have begun reporting results very quickly. In 2016, for example, they did so shortly after 8:30 p.m. Eastern time, just about half an hour after the caucuses began. And nearly all results were in by 12:50 a.m. Eastern time that year.

In 2020, though, the system melted down during the Democratic caucuses, and the Iowa Democratic Party was unable to release any significant results that night. Full results came days afterward.

Even in years when the counting was quick, results that were initially reported were not always accurate. In the Republican contest in 2012, the caucus-night numbers showed that Mitt Romney had won by eight votes. The Iowa Republican Party said more than two weeks later that Rick Santorum had actually won by 34 votes.

This year’s caucuses are not expected to be anywhere near that competitive, although the race for second place between Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley could be. Still, it’s best to be prepared for anything.

Alicia Parlapiano contributed reporting.

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