To say the Iowa Caucus had some surprising results is an understatement.
The Democratic caucus was a nail biter to say the least, with Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton finishing at 49.6% and 49.9%, respectively; many are considering the caucus to be a tie between Clinton and Sanders. Sander’s supporters consider this a huge victory for Sanders, who only six months ago was considered to be a fringe candidate.
On the Republican side of the caucus, Ted Cruz defeated Donald Trump 27.6% to 24.3%, with Marco Rubio coming in at a strong third place with 23.1%. Trump, who has been quoted as saying, “we will have so much winning if I get elected that you may get bored with winning,” was not thrilled with the results. Along with demanding a rematch in Iowa, Trump claimed that Cruz illegally won the caucus and has accused him of fraud. Iowa election officials have since condemned the Cruz campaign for leaflets sent out accusing Iowa voters of voting violations, though no official action has been taken. Rubio supporters have considered Rubio’s third place victory an excellent step in his campaign, stating that this victory makes him a more viable candidate.
As the Iowa Caucus proved which candidates have potential to win the nomination for their party, it also shed light on which candidates have no chance at the presidency. Martin O’Malley, a now former democratic candidate, officially dropped out of the race, finishing at only 0.6%. A number of republican candidates also dropped out after Iowa; Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, and Rick Santorum all dropped out and finished under 5%. Of the remaining Republican candidates, five of them (Ben Carson, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, John Kasich, and Carly Fiorina) are nationally polling under 10%.
The next step in the presidential race is the New Hampshire primary Tuesday. On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders has a significant advantage against Hillary Clinton, polling at 56.7% vs. 37.2% in New Hampshire. On the Republican side, Trump has an immense advantage over other candidates. Polling at 32.5%, Trump will almost certainly win the New Hampshire Republican primary, as his closest competition is Marco Rubio, at 14.3%. New Hampshire will certainly yield different results from Iowa, and is an important next step in each candidate’s campaign.