The first is detrimental - the inability to pilot real use, or "ramp up" gradually before the caucus makes it hard to avoid a "big bang" go-live and consequent issues surfacing at the worst possible time. As happened.
But the second is actually an advantage. Fixed and predictable live load rather than "we hope that it becomes very popular" give you a specific target to use in load tests ahead of time.
A senior engineer should be advocating for that load test at e.g. 150% of the real load.
When the total budget is $60K, they probably don't have the time.
Remember that when Disney (a company with near-infinite resources) launched Plus in the US the account service was only intermittently accessible the first day. And that was after a pilot launch in the Netherlands.