Yesterday marked an incredibly crucial point for the 2016 presidential election, as Iowa voters gathered to caucus for their favorite candidates in the first real showing of electoral support. This caucus may very well have been the most anticipated in modern history, given unprecedented media coverage and the burgeoning success of Washington outsiders in the polls. However, when it came down to the wire, and it was all up to the voters, Washington insiders showed their resilience and defeated (while just barely) their fellow candidates.
On the Republican side, Trump was leading in the Iowa polls leading up to the caucus. While only by a single-digit margin, Cruz lagged behind Trump in the Hawkeye State and gave Americans reason to believe that the “Washington outsider” craze may be more than just a phase. However, Cruz took the Iowa caucus by a 3.3% margin ahead of Trump, securing 8 delegates. Trump, in a close second, secured 7 delegates. Marco Rubio, who was depicted as a distant third to Trump and Cruz going into the caucuses, secured 7 delegates as well; he was just 1.2 percentage points behind Trump. As such, it appears that Trump’s claims that he will handedly take the Republican nomination and unseat the Republican Establishment for good may be entirely unwarranted.
The Democratic race was equally as interesting. While Hillary was winning in the polls going into the caucuses, Bernie’s numbers were within the margin of error, indicating that he could have won. The final polling was far closer than anyone had anticipated, as Hillary won by a mere .3%: 49.9% to Bernie’s 49.6%. Hillary secured 22 delegates, while Sanders managed to secure just 21. O’Malley, who has since suspended his campaign, did not secure a single delegate in the caucuses.
Following the caucuses, two campaigns suspended their efforts. Huckabee on the Republican side and O’Malley on the Democratic side both decided to call it quits when they experienced no success in Iowa. Seeing that success in Iowa is essential for a presidential campaign, it makes perfect sense that they made the decision to drop out of the race.
Now, the campaigns are going to be gearing up for New Hampshire primaries, where they will have another chance to show the American people what they are made of.
Are you surprised that Cruz and Clinton won in Iowa? What do you think about Huckabee and O’Malley both dropping out of the race?