2016 Iowa Caucus Results



Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz celebrates with supporters in Des Moines, Iowa, after winning the Iowa Republican caucus on Monday, Feb. 1, 2016. (Yin Bogu/Xinhua/Zuma Press/TNS)

By Grace Geraghty

The 2016 Iowa caucus Monday left Republicans happily surprised, while Democrats were left without a clear victor, despite former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton‘s somewhat premature victory speech.

Former Republican front-runner Donald Trump came in a surprising second place at the caucus, finishing with 24.3% of the vote. Meanwhile, Texas Senator Ted Cruz managed to bump Trump down, while he garnered 27.7% of votes and a winning 8 delegates. In a surprisingly strong finish, Florida Senator Marco Rubio gather 23.1% of votes, less than 1.5% behind Trump.

Prior to the caucus, Rubio’s staffers had claimed that “a strong third-place finish” was what their candidate needed to remain in the running. Post-caucus, it seems that the top three Republican candidates may end up finishing the primaries with roughly a third of the vote for each.

The fourth place Republican, Ben Carson, had weak results, with only 9.3% of the vote. From there it only goes downhill for the Republicans, indicating that the fight for the nomination is going to be a 3-man race.

Meanwhile, Democrats were confused at the lack of real results, despite Hillary Clinton claiming victory in her speech.

Clinton finished with 22 delegates and 49.9% of the vote, compared to Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders‘ 21 delegates and 49.6%. Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley only captured 0.6% of votes. He confirmed that he is not going to be in contention for the Democratic nomination for much longer, announcing a suspension of his candidacy after his poor Iowa finish.

Due to staffing issues at caucus voting sites, under-staffed workers were counting results into the early morning, leaving the candidates without a real winner. A particular incident of a tie in one precinct that caucus workers were forced to do a coin toss to determine the winner; Clinton’s supporters ended up winning the precinct. Clinton also won a Davenport precinct through a coin toss. The coin toss is the designated way to break ties, as stated in the guide for Democratic precinct chairs during caucus events.

Despite Clinton’s victory speech, in which she promised to continue fighting for Iowans, Sanders staffers called the caucus a “virtual tie”, a claimed it was a “victory” for his political revolution.

With unclear results in Iowa, both Democratic candidates are heading to New Hampshire, where Saners has a slight lead over Clinton, for the February 9 caucus.