A group calling itself Anonymous Conservative hacked the 2016 Iowa Caucus website Monday, posting a manifesto on its front page. The cyberattack was in response to former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s endorsement of GOP front-runner Donald Trump last week.
“The recent endorsement of Donald Trump by Sarah Palin is the final straw for our organization, The Anonymous Conservative,” read an announcement posted to the Iowa caucus website. “Every good Conservative knows that Sarah Palin is a national embarrassment and she represents everything that is wrong with America,” read the statement, allegedly from the hacktivist group.
It was not immediately clear what, if any, affiliation the group had with the cyberactivist group known as Anonymous, which has looked to support the Black Lives Matter movement and to expose alleged Ku Klux Klan members, among other social justice causes.
— Ian Schuler (@ianschuler) January 25, 2016
Voters in Iowa are preparing to participate in the caucus, the first voting event of the 2016 presidential election season, slated for Feb. 1. Residents begin selecting delegates to represent them at county conventions, and the Iowa caucus often serves as an early indication of which candidates will take the nominations.
Real estate mogul Trump has been leading in polls ahead of the caucus, with 32.2 percent of support, according to Real Clear Politics, which takes the average of available polling data.
Palin's speech endorsing Trump at a campiagn stop in Iowa has been widely criticized for being confusing and bizarre -- like some speeches and interviews she gave as John McCain's running mate in the 2008 presidentail election. “How about the rest of us? Right-winging, bitter-clinging, proud clingers of our guns, our God, and our religion, and our Constitution,” Palin said during her endorsement. Palin’s endorsement could still help Trump in Iowa with Tea Party voters, however, who have often favored Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, the Washington Post reported Sunday.