There was no official winner of the Democratic vote at the 2016 Iowa caucus on Feb. 1. In the most significant event of the presidential race thus far, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton ended the evening in a virtual tie, so we’ll have to wait to see who is now one step closer to the nomination.
It was a very close call. So close, in fact, that after hours of voting and deliberation, the Feb. 1 Iowa caucus ended in a virtual tie between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. This announcement comes as Ted Cruz was declared the GOP’s official winner. Iowa is the first state to primary vote in the elections, and has the potential to set the tone for the rest of the election. Here’s what happened!
This may have been the closest Iowa caucus ever! Hillary and Bernie stayed neck and neck through the entire evening, and with 99% of the votes accounted for, Hillary was leading by a hair with 49.8% while Bernie had 49.6%. Crazy! Both candidates gave incredibly gracious speeches before CNN announced there would be no official winner on Feb. 1. Hilary said it best when she “said it is rare that we have the opportunity to have a real contest.” Oh, how “real” this contest has gotten!
Groups of caucusgoers met in 1,681 precincts throughout the state, starting at 7:00pm local time, to cast their vote for their party’s candidate. Going into the election, Hillary was holding a slim, but strong lead over Bernie, 45% to 42%, according to The Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics polls. Incredibly close. “This race is as tight as can be,” political strategist David Axelrod said earlier in the day. “If Bernie Sanders had momentum headed into the final month, the race now is static and essentially tied.” Well, that’s over now!
The Iowa caucus is distinct in several ways from other primary votes. Firstly, it’s the first time any United States citizens are able to vote in the presidential election. The results of the Iowa caucus sometimes sets the tone for the rest of the country’s voting; in 2008, Barack Obama came out of nowhere to win the election, although Hillary was the frontrunner. And we know how that ended!
But on the flip side, in the 2012 election, Rick Santorum was the GOP’s Iowa winner. The nomination wound up going to Mitt Romney. There’s no guarantees! The Iowa caucus isn’t just stepping up to a polling booth when you’re a Democrat. Democratic caucus goers congregate in homes, churches and community meeting places to discuss their votes and move forward, whereas republicans cast secret ballots. And the heat is on for the candidates, as well; they’re required to get 15% of the vote in each precinct to win. Hopefully Feb. 2 will hold the answer!
HollywoodLifers, did your candidate win the Iowa caucus? Tell us in the comments!