Will Hillary Clinton take Iowa? If so, Bernie Sanders’ campaign thinks they know how she’s going to pull it off: by stealing it.
On the eve of the caucus, Sanders presidential campaign manager Jeff Weaver alleged that Clinton’s team appears to be importing non-residents to skew the caucus vote Monday—an accusation that falls right in line with the party that invented astroturfing and a candidate who is far more comfortable operating below board than above.
“Weaver’s concern is based on what he described as an ‘alarming’ letter received by a voter named Dennis Clifford in Hawarden, Iowa,” Yahoo reports. “Although Clifford is a Sanders supporter, the letter, from a Clinton campaign office in Sioux City, urged him to caucus for Clinton and identified a non-resident as his local precinct captain.”
The Clinton staffer who sent the letter, Morgan Luther, is not a resident of Iowa, which Yahoo notes is not in fact prohibited by caucus regulations. But Weaver said that misses the point.
“I think this raises a very serious concern that they’re infiltrating the caucuses with out of state paid staffers,” said Weaver. “I would hope that the media will be able to get to the bottom of this before Iowans go to the caucuses on Monday night.”
Emphasizing that he was not protesting the use of out of state staffers, Weaver said that his issue is with the use of the “participation” of non-residents in the caucus.
“People who are in the caucuses are supposed to be Iowa voters,” he said, adding, “Of course we have out of state staff. I’m here in Iowa right now and, you know, I don’t live in Iowa. But I’m not going to the caucuses either to participate. I’m not trying to participate in the caucuses.”
The most recent Iowa poll shows Clinton edging Sanders, 45/42, well within the margin of error. As Democrat political analyst David Axelrod said this weekend, “Turnout is everything.” The question Sanders’ camp is asking is who exactly is turning out?