The race for President of the United States officially began last night with the Iowa caucuses. The caucuses did not disappoint in the surprises that they produced. At the end of the night, Ted Cruz was declared the winner on the Republican side, and Hillary Clinton has claimed victory for the Democrats, even though some news organizations say that the Democratic race is still too close to call.
Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders competed in the closest race in the history of the Iowa Caucuses. In some districts, Clinton and Sanders were tied and in order to determine who would get the delegates, a coin toss was used. The coin toss victory was used six times last night between Bernie and Hillary, and Hillary won every toss. Coin tosses were not the only strange thing happening for the Democrats last night.
Order of operations to determining Iowa winners:
1. Tallied votes
2. Coin toss
3. Rock paper scissors
4. Staring contest
— Aaron Levie (@levie) February 2, 2016
It is being claimed that 90 precincts in Iowa lost their votes. The race between Clinton and Sanders is so close that these votes that vanished could be enough to declare Bernie the winner in Iowa.
— The Hill (@thehill) February 2, 2016
How do votes from 90 Democrat precincts in Iowa go missing? That seems awfully convenient for a certain female running for President.
— Corey (@cheaward) February 2, 2016
The Republicans were not without controversy last night, as well. Ben Carson is accusing Ted Cruz of cheating in order to steal votes from Carson. Carson is alleging that Cruz sent out emails to supporters that claimed that Carson was no longer going to be running for president. Carson commented on Cruz’s tactics.
“That is really quite a dirty trick. That’s the very kind of thing that irritated me enough to get into this quagmire.”
Carson claims that due to Cruz saying that he was dropping out, he believes that people who were going to vote for him changed their vote to Cruz. Jason Osborne, Carson’s deputy senior strategist, read one of the emails.
“The guy speaking for Ted Cruz right before the vote, he was supposed to be done, he announced that there was a story on CNN that Ben Carson was taking a break after Iowa, and then stated, ‘So you might want to rethink wasting your vote on him.’ “
Cruz denies all the allegations that Carson is claiming happened. If Carson lost votes to Cruz due to supporters not wanting to vote for a candidate who they believed was dropping out, the results could have been different.
The top three on the Republican side saw Cruz win, Trump came in second, and Marco Rubio stunned the field by coming in third. Trump was slated to win Iowa based on the polling data, but he came up a little bit short. He did not implode from the loss like some experts speculated would happen. What was once a two-man race between Cruz and Trump has now become a three-way due to the surging Rubio.
The candidates have now all moved their campaign to New Hampshire, which will hold their primary next Tuesday. Early polling shows Trump and Sanders with commanding leads. As we saw in Iowa, anything can happen.
What were your thoughts on the Iowa caucuses last night? Do you think Trump would have won if the confusion with Ben Carson did not exist? What do you think happened to the missing votes in the race between Hillary and Bernie? Who do you think will end up representing each party in November?
[Image via Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]