The Iowa caucuses are now behind us for the 2016 campaign and, as you would expect, the race is just beginning. So what exactly happened last night?
This is a Reality Check you won’t see anywhere else.
The Iowa caucus may have been the closest race in history. For the Democrats, there were 44 delegates at stake. At the end of the night, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton finished in a virtual tie.
Clinton finished with 50 percent of the votes and Sanders with 49 percent. How close was this race? According to a number of reports, Clinton won at least six precincts by a coin toss.
According to the Associated Press, Sanders and Clinton will split the delegates, 21 delegates apiece.
On the Republican side, there were 30 delegates at stake in Iowa last night and those delegates are shared proportionally. But what is very interesting, is that Sen. Ted Cruz took the win with 28 percent of the vote or eight delegates. Trump came in second with 24 percent or seven delegates. Sen. Marco Rubio barely finished third with 23 percent or six delegates. The only other delegates were awarded to Ben Carson with two and Sen. Rand Paul with one.
So what does this mean moving forward?
The next contest in New Hampshire is a primary. It’s very different than a caucus and brings in a different kind of voter.
What you need to know is that what is important about what happened in Iowa, is less about the candidates and much more about the voters.
The record turnout four years ago in Iowa on the Republican side was just over 120,000 voters. However, last night that number was crushed as around 170,000 voters came out to caucus. The lines were so long at many precincts that the number of caucus-goers doubled expectations.
That’s a very good sign because at the end of the day, the more people who become interested, excited and willing to take part in the political process, regardless of which candidate they support, the better and more accountable that process can become for everyone.
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