Democrats were hoping the Iowa caucuses would bring some clarity to the competition for the Democratic presidential nomination. Instead, it brought a day of confusion and embarrassment during which no results were reported because of huge glitches in the already quirky caucus process.

If there was a winner, once the numbers were belatedly reported, it was Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, who, not so long ago, was not only far from being a household name, his was a name no one knew how to pronounce. The millennial mayor narrowly beat out the elderly Vermont senator Bernie Sanders in the delegate totals, although Sanders beat Buttigieg by two measures of caucus turnout that were added to the process.

Two winners? It looks that way. And there were two losers, as well.

One was former Vice President Joe Biden, once the presumptive favorite to win it all, who came in fourth in all three totals. The other was Iowa. This debacle is likely to ensure that the state will not be allowed to go first in future elections, which means the hundreds of millions of campaign dollars that have been spent in Iowa every four years will be lost, as will the large clout traditionally wielded by this small state.

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