The two presidential candidates for the Democratic party are still not clear about which one of them won this round in the Iowa caucus.
The process in the state is not a simple primary election as in most others, but rather operates as a “gathering of neighbors” around the state. Voters meet to talk about the candidates, take an initial vote, discuss and then vote again.
The state holds 44 elected delegates who will ultimately help determine the nominee at the Democratic National Convention this summer.
Although campaign officials for Hillary Clinton said the former Secretary of State won a slim victory over Bernie Sanders on Monday, his campaign said the results were not settled: there remain questions in several counties.
The Iowa Democratic Party itself said results in the state were the closest in Iowa Democratic caucus history, and no winner has yet been officially declared.
Clinton and Sanders remained in a virtual dead heat overnight according to every media outlet.
A statement from the party leader called it a “historically close” finish but did not declare a winner. Clinton won 699.57 state delegates, Sanders had 695.49, Martin O’Malley had 7.68 and there were an uncommitted number that totaled 0.46, with one Des Moines precinct that had not yet reported in, with a total of 2.28 state delegate equivalents.
By the end of the night, Martin O’Malley decided to suspend his campaign.
Clinton led among women, and Sanders led among men, according to CBS News. First-time caucus attendees supported Sanders over Clinton, 59 percent to 37 percent. He also drew more support among the “under 30″ crowd – 84 percent – and 58 percent in the 30 to 45 age group. Clinton held sway among those in the 45 to 64 age range (58 percent) and the over 65 crowd (69 percent). The “very liberal” Democrats supported Sanders over Clinton, 58 percent to 39 percent.
The Republican caucus came up with a win for Texas Senator Ted Cruz, and at least a stall for billionaire celebrity Donald Trump. Cruz led the candidates with 28 percent of the vote, followed by Trump with 24 percent, and Florida Senator Marco Rubio extremely close behind with 23 percent, still in the top three.
Cruz set a Republican caucus record on Monday night by winning more than 50,000 votes. The senator is clearly preferred over Trump by the GOP rank-and-file party establishment, although it is still too early to tell who will represent the party in November.
That did not stop Cruz from underlining his anti-Washington Insider campaign in a speech at the end of the evening.
“Iowa has sent notice that the Republican nominees for the next president of the United States will not be chosen by the Washington establishment, will not be chosen by the lobbyists,” Cruz said at a victory party at the Iowa state fair in Des Moines. Instead, he said, the candidate will be “chosen by the most incredibly powerful force where all sovereignty resides in our nation, by ‘we the people’ – the American people.”Hana Levi Julian