Analysis: Cruz, Clinton win Iowa caucuses

Ted Cruz pulled a mild upset over
Donald Trump in Iowa
On February 1, the Iowa caucuses -- the first real votes of the election cycle -- were held. As the first primary of the 2016 election season, suspense preceded the caucuses, as there was no clear answer to who was going to win in either political party. The voting process is relatively simple. In fact, due to the closeness of the Democratic race, some facilities determined the winner by a coin toss.

Donald Trump, a polarizing Republican whose name has become familiar to most Americans, had been leading national polls with the support of as high as 33% of Republican voters. However, Trump’s support, as represented by the Iowa caucus, dropped to 24.3%, allowing Texas Senator Ted Cruz to take the lead with 27.6%. Not far behind was Marco Rubio with 23.1%. Clearly, at this point in the race, any one of these three could become the Republican nomination. The Democratic caucuses were much closer; in fact, only 0.3% of voters separated winner Hillary Clinton with runner-up Bernie Sanders. Martin O’Malley, the only other contender for the Democratic nomination weighed in at a dismal 0.6%, and ultimately dropped out shortly thereafter.
Hillary Clinton narrowly edged
Bernie Sanders in Iowa

Republicans Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee (2008 winner of the Iowa Caucuses), and Rick Santorum (2012 winner of the Iowa Caucuses) also dropped out shortly after the vote. Still hopeful for a miraculous comeback are Republican candidates Ben Carson (9.3%), Jeb Bush (2.8%), Carly Fiorina (1.9%), John Kasich (1.9%), Chris Christie (1.8%), and Jim Gilmore (0.0%). Though many Americans are relieved that Trump fell short, his chances may be better in the New Hampshire primaries. Ted Cruz, being a strong conservative, might not appeal to the more progressive states in the northeast as much as Rubio, a more modern Republican, will. Trump, a New York native, may also have some appeal to stronger Republicans in the area. Whether Clinton or Sanders will take New Hampshire is anyone’s guess, as although Sanders holds the lead in polls, Clinton earned a comeback victory in 2008.

--Pierson Castor, Columnist and Logan Emmert, Special to

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