Clinton and Cruz take Iowa

randomBy Lauren Holt 2/2/2016
A record number of Iowans arrived at their precincts Monday night to caucus for the presidential candidate they want to see in office. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton eked out a win against Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders in the Democratic caucuses, and Texas Senator Ted Cruz comfortably won the Republican vote over rival Donald Trump.

The Iowa Democratic Party called Clinton’s win over Sanders a “historically close” race. The final tally shows Clinton with 49.8 percent of the delegate vote and Sanders with 49.6 percent.

While the Clinton camp declared victory Monday night before the results were officially called, Sanders and his team are choosing to call the results a “virtual tie.”

Former Governor of Maryland Martin O’Malley received less than 1 percent of the vote and officially withdrew his presidential bid.

Clinton and Sanders hurried off to New Hampshire following the caucuses where both held rallies on Tuesday. At hers, Clinton told supporters, “I can tell you, I’ve won and I’ve lost there, and it’s a lot better to win.”

Sanders has been polling ahead of Clinton in New Hampshire and hopes to secure a win when primary voters go to the polls there February 9th.

The Republican side of the caucuses in Iowa wasn’t a nail-biter like the Democrats’, but it did turn heads. Ted Cruz secured a victory, coming in with 27.7 percent of the vote, mainly due to his extensive grassroots campaign in the state and support from Evangelicals.

Donald Trump finished second behind Cruz with 24.3 percent. Trump delivered a brief speech to his Iowan supporters following the results, and also addressed former governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee, who dropped out of the race Monday night.

“We finished second, and I want to tell you something: I’m just honored. I’m really honored. And I want to congratulate Ted, and I want to congratulate all of the incredible candidates, including Mike Huckabee, who has become a really good friend of mine,” Trump said to supporters.

The Republican head-turner of the night was Florida Senator Marco Rubio who, despite polls predicting him to come in a distant third, came in close behind Trump with 23.1 percent of the vote.

“For months, they said we had no chance. They told me I had no chance because my hair wasn’t gray enough and my boots were too high,” Rubio said in his speech to Iowans.

Cruz, Trump, and Rubio, like their Democratic opponents, are now focused on the upcoming New Hampshire primary, as are many of the Republican candidates who didn’t make the top three in Iowa