The 2016 Presidential Election has officially kicked off, and it did so with a bang. After months of polls and debates, the people have finally had the opportunity to really speak, and those words don’t match what most were expecting.
The Democratic Party began collecting votes fast soon after Iowa Caucus voting opened at 7 p.m. central time Monday, February 1. Hillary Clinton had an early lead on fellow democratic candidates Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley. It became apparent rather quickly O’Malley wasn’t even close to being in the bid for delegates, so he suspended his campaign. With O’Malley out, all people could focus on was the closing gap between Clinton and Sanders. It was like watching a ping pong match; back and forth the percentages would flip between the two of them. At the end of the night news networks were labeling the democratic caucus “too close to call.” Both Sanders and Clinton went ahead and said their speeches prior to all the votes coming through. Clinton claimed victory while Sanders called Iowa a “virtual tie.” Technically, both candidates are correct as the difference between their votes was a fraction of a percent.
The GOP caucus in Iowa was just as interesting. Proclaimed frontrunner Donald Trump got off to an early lead, but it soon became apparent Ted Cruz was going to win Iowa. The battle then came down to Trump and fellow candidate Marco Rubio for second place. Rubio progressively climbed in percentage all night; however, in the end he came out with about one percent less of the votes than Trump. Following behind the top three were Ben Carson, Rand Paul, and Jeb Bush. Republican candidate Mike Huckabee made the decision to end his campaign when it became apparent he would leave Iowa without a delegate if he continued his campaign.
All the candidates are headed to New Hampshire as the state hosts the first primaries on Tuesday, February 9. With only one primary/caucus down, a lot can change before the party conventions in July.
At the moment the delegate count goes as follows:
Democratic- Clinton (22) and Sanders (21)
Republican- Cruz (8), Trump (7), Rubio (6), Carson (3), Paul (1), Bush (1), Fiorina (0), Kasich (0), Christie (0), Santorum (0), and Gilmore (0)