Polls indicated that the battle in Iowa between Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton and the self-described democratic socialist senator from Vermont Bernie Sanders would be tight, but no one realized it would be this tight. With Republicans announcing fairly early in the evening that Ted Cruz had taken first place in the Iowa caucus, the win for Hillary Clinton was not announced until early Tuesday morning, with the results between Clinton and Sanders being so close that Iowa Democratic Chair Andy McGuire called the results a “virtual tie.” According to the Iowa Democratic Party (IDP), Clinton received 699.57 state delegate equivalents, while Sanders was awarded 695.49. Results from Des Moines, the remaining precinct, are still trickling in, but it’s not worth enough votes for Sanders to move to first place.
Statement from the Clinton campaign on tonight’s Iowa win pic.twitter.com/Nx88ERMEqh
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) February 2, 2016
Even though Clinton won in Iowa, the results are so close and that, combined with the idea that, in politics, simply performing beyond expectations is a victory even when it’s not an actual victory, means that although Iowa is an “apparent win” for the Clinton campaign, Bernie Sanders still comes out on top.
One stunning statistic that has emerged from the Iowa caucus is the number of youth voters Bernie Sanders has gotten to caucus and that is why, as the New York Magazine puts it, Bernie Sanders “owns the future of the Democratic Party.”
Just seven years ago, voters under the age of 30 were largely responsible for rocketing Barack Obama to victory, choosing the young, less-recognizable Illinois senator over Clinton by a whopping 43-point margin.
But yesterday, those young voters outperformed all expectations, and it was the youth demographic that virtually single-handedly propelled Bernie Sanders into a virtual tie with the candidate who has long since been the presumptive nominee of the Democratic party. In a stunning entrance poll, CNN shows that the crusty, often cranky, but certainly passionate Sanders outperformed Clinton among voters aged 18 to 29 by a whopping 70 points.
When it comes to the youth vote, it isn’t even a real contest between Sanders and Clinton.
And it is because of that large margin of youth that favors Sanders’ more passionate message for change, for a better future with a focus on such lofty ideals as income equality, free college education, and healthcare as a right versus Clinton’s more pragmatic message is why Bernie Sanders, and his open embrace of the return of big government, have emerged on top from the Iowa caucus.
As Slate reports, another reason why Bernie Sanders wins, even when he technically loses, is because he has changed the nature of politics, at least for the Democratic party.
“Sanders is already a historic candidate — the first socialist in a century to build a genuine mass movement in American party politics. And whatever the Democratic Party is in the next 20 or 30 years, it will owe a great deal to Sanders and all the people — young or otherwise — who felt the Bern.”
MSNBC published the breakdown in exit polls for both Clinton and Sanders.
“Clinton won among Democrats, 56%-39%
“Sanders won among independents, 69%-26%
“Sanders won among very liberal, 58%-39%
“Clinton won among somewhat liberals, 50-44%, and moderates, 58%-35%
“Clinton won among past caucus-goers, 59%-35%
“Sanders won among first-time caucus-goers, 59%-37%
“Sanders won among those ages 17-29, 84%-14%
“Clinton won among those 65 and older, 69%-26%”
The candidates now move on to New Hampshire, where Sanders has already established a firm lead against Clinton in a state that the Clinton campaign infers is “home territory” to the Vermont senator.
After New Hampshire, the candidates will move on to South Carolina, where the Clinton campaign believes it has built a strong firewall against the political revolution of Sanders, but in an interview with Matt Lauer on NBC ahead of the Iowa caucus, Sanders said bluntly that he plans to fight the primary to the end.
“I hope we win, but if we lose by two points, so what — we’re going to go to New Hampshire, then we’re going to go to South Carolina, then we’re going to go to Nevada,” he told the Today show anchor.
“We are in this to the end.”
[Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images]