Clinton slips by Sanders in historically slim Iowa Caucus
This past Monday, Feb. 1, the premier electoral event of the United States President nominating process occurred in Iowa. The Hawkeye State’s 99 counties and 1,681 precincts voted on both the Republican and Democratic Party candidates. The famous Iowa Caucus is recognized for a 50 percent accuracy rate in determining each party’s presidential nominee. While the GOP winner is determined through popular vote, the Democratic process is a little more complex.
In order to win the caucus for the Democratic Party, the candidate must have the largest number of delegates. Each of the 99 Iowan precincts divides its delegate seats among the participants. The caucus-goers stand in designated areas of the voting site to demonstrate support for a particular candidate, and each participant spends roughly 30 minutes trying to convince friends and neighbors to join. Democrats who remain undecided on any candidate stand in a designated undecided area.
About half an hour into electioneering, the caucus officials then determine which candidates are viable.
In order to be a contestable contender, the candidate must have the support of at least 15 percent of attendees. This week, former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley often failed to meet that mark and received less than 1 percent of the total vote along with no delegates.
The Iowa Caucus often predicts each party’s presidential nomination. Those who perform well in the polls still have a shot at their campaign, while those who do not realize it is wiser to drop out. Though O’Malley has suspended his campaign, the Democratic Party is not happy with the neck-and-neck tie between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former Senator Bernie Sanders.
Both candidates failed to establish themselves as the clear frontrunner of the Democratic Party. This is especially a blow to Clinton who was believed to have been the favorite at the Iowa Caucus. Yet, as the results show, Clinton received 23 delegates and 49.9 percent support, while Sanders received 21 delegates and 49.6 percent of the Iowan vote. While Clinton did indeed win the caucus, she did so by a very lucky, razor-thin margin.
Allegedly, Clinton won the caucus by a flip of a coin in as many as six separate voting sites. The odds of that occurring are not only 1 in 64 and the claim is also simply dishonest. Even if Clinton won the “Miracle Six,” it barely gave her a leg up over her competitor Sanders. In fact, the tie was so close that many Iowans reported a number of tiebreakers at numerous voting sites, some of which Sanders did win. The Iowa Caucus saw the largest number of Democratic caucus-goers in caucus history, with 171,508 residents preferring either Clinton or Sanders. Though Hillary Clinton came in the lead with barely a 0.3 percent margin, it was the closest in 40 years at the Iowa Democratic Caucus.
This close race leaves a lot to be determined in the upcoming months.
New Hampshire promises even more confusion for both parties. Moreover, the congressional and state conventions in April and June will be the true determinants of the Democratic party’s nominee.