The Winners And Surprises of the Iowa Caucuses

by Musa Tahir

The Iowa caucus results have come in after months of dedicated campaigning by the 15 presidential candidates remaining.

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders were in as he put it, “In a virtual tie,” with Hillary very narrowly leading Sanders by 0.3% of the vote.

On the Republican side, Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, and Marco Rubio were in the top 3 respectively with Cruz winning at 27.6 %, Trump receiving a 24.3% vote, and Rubio just behind Trump with 23.1 % of the vote.

The win for Cruz was somewhat surprising as many people were certain Trump would be declared the victor, including himself. Moreover, Rubio edging behind Trump at third was a shock. His impressive performance in the most recent Republican debate which Trump had not chosen to participate in surely played a role in strengthening his support. Rubio in fact only started seriously campaigning in Iowa in early January.

As CNN writes, “Donald Trump on Tuesday said his decision to skip the last Republican debate before the Iowa caucuses may have led to his second-place finish in the Hawkeye State. ’That could’ve been with the debate,’ Trump acknowledged to reporters in Milford, New Hampshire.” Additionally, Trump, a 69 year old man, whined about his loss on twitter writing, “Ted Cruz didn’t win Iowa, he stole it. That is why all of the polls were so wrong and why he got far more votes than anticipated. Bad!”
There have been many rumors circulating soon after Hillary Clinton’s victory that she won by an actual coin flip. However, as CNN writes, “At stake at these precinct-level coin flips is the one remaining slot in that precinct for a campaign to send a delegate to attend that precinct’s county convention. Coin flips are not used to decide which candidate wins a state convention delegate or national convention delegate.” Hillary Clinton actually won six of the seven coin flips on Monday which is incredible considering the odds.

Furthermore, CNN writes, “Norm Sterzenbach, the former executive director of the Iowa Democratic Party who oversaw the party’s 2008 and 2012 Iowa caucuses, told CNN: ‘I can say with almost absolute certainty this election would not have been changed because of the coin flips. It would take a very large number of these to make that kind of impact, and one candidate would have to win them all. Our empirical evidence and anecdotal information shows that one candidate didn’t win them all, and that coin flips are not that frequent.”

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