Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton blew a three-point lead early on Monday, and was locked in a virtual tie with rival Sen. Bernie Sanders, before going home with a narrow win over the Vermont senator.
Just before midnight, Clinton, 68, came out with the victory over her Democratic rival in the Midwest state, although the battle was closer than what her party would have hoped for.
At the beginning of her campaign, the former Secretary of State seemed poised to run away with the Democratic nomination for presidency, especially because she was up against a virtually unknown senator from Vermont.
In fact, in 2015, Clinton had a 32-point lead over Sanders, 74, although that advantage has all but evaporated in recent weeks.
— Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) February 2, 2016
Sanders’ fervor and dedication in bringing change to the nation, and his stance against the “billionaire classes” on Wall Street also gave him the support of most young voters in national polls.
Meanwhile, an issue that has plagued Clinton’s campaign is the recent resurgence of reports stating that she helped silence and discriminate against women who went forward after being linked to the indiscretions of her husband, former president Bill Clinton.
Her implication in the email controversy that involved highly classified information has also taken its toll in her campaign over the past weeks.
That is why on Monday, Hillary Clinton heaved a sigh of relief when she finally won the caucus in Iowa, in which she only landed third when she battled with Barack Obama and John Edwards in 2008.
— CNN (@CNN) February 2, 2016
With more than 99 percent of the results in, and only 50 more precincts to count, Hillary led Bernie by the slimmest of margins – 49.9 percent against 49.6 percent. The battle was so close that in a particular precinct, Des Moines Precinct 70, the tally ended 60-60, and was only decided by a coin toss.
— Verso Books (@VersoBooks) February 2, 2016
At this time, both parties have given what appeared to be victory speeches. Sanders said that the tremendous support he gained from Iowa just means that more people are sending a message to the political, economic and media establishments.
Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton did not particularly claim victory, though she did recognize the “opportunity” that she has right now.
“It’s rare that we have the opportunity we do now to have a real contest of ideas. To really think hard about what the Democratic party stands for and what we want the future of our country to look like,” she said.
Hillary Clinton Delivers Her Victory Speech After Winning the Iowa Caucuses
Clinton’s party may not admit it, but once again they have underestimated an opponent that almost cost them Iowa for the presidential nomination.
Indeed, his impressive performance against Clinton has given him momentum going into the New Hampshire primaries on February 9.
On the other hand, Hillary Clinton was still happy with the victory when all the results were tallied. She congratulated Bernie Sanders and looked forward to more debates for the Democratic Party in the general elections.
“Wow, what a night, an unbelievable night. Now, as I stand here tonight breathing a sigh of relief – thank you,” said Hillary Clinton at her event where about 700 people were in attendance.
Meanwhile, in the Republican caucus in the state, Republican candidate Ted Cruz took 28 percent to win over billionaire and property investor Donald Trump, who garnered 24 percent.
— Good Morning America (@GMA) February 2, 2016
The loss was unexpected for Trump, who still led by several points in Iowa during the latest national polls. Florida Senator Marco Rubio came in third with 23 percent, and made sure that he was still in the race.
“Tonight is a victory for courageous conservatives,” Cruz said.
[Image by Justin Sullivan, Getty Images]