At odds with most pollsters, Ted Cruz has won the most votes in the state of Iowa, delegating Donald Trump to second place with GOP-establishment backed candidate Marco Rubio close behind. Hilary Clinton, although presumptuous in her outlook, had virtually tied with her main opponent Bernie Sanders in a closely fought content that has yet again defied the opinion polls.
GOP vote share of the Iowa Caucus
Ted Cruz (27.7%) – 8 delegates
Donald Trump (24.3%) – 7 delegates
Marco Rubio (23.1%) – 7 delegates
Ben Carson (9.3%) – 3 delegates
Rand Paul (4.5%) – 1 delegate
Jeb Bush (2.8%) – 1 delegate
Carly Fiorina, John Kasich, Mike Huckabee, and Chris Christie (2%) – No delegates
Rick Santorum (1%) – No delegates
Ted Cruz, a Conservative with religious credentials had followed a trend of Iowan Republicans favouring the evangelical candidate. Previous winners of the states caucus such as Mike Huckabee in 2008 and Rick Santorum in 2012 had similar ideological traits to Ted Cruz, therefore it is not particularly surprising who the victor would be despite the verdicts of pollsters.
Donald Trump came an admirable second, yet it appears sceptical voters within Iowa’s conservative heartland had questioned his track record of loyalty when it came to the core values of the GOP.
Although coming in third place, Marco Rubio’s result was quite a surprise, as much of the media had underestimated his potential in the electoral race. Often viewed as the GOP’s posterchild in regards to broadening the party’s political scope, his hopes are now set on the coveted New Hampshire primary.
Democrat Party vote share of the Iowa Caucus
Hilary Clinton (49.9%) – 22 delegates
Bernie Sanders (49.5%) – 21 delegates
Martin O’Malley (0.6%) – No delegates
On the other side of the spectrum, the Democrats had endured a nail-biter, with both Bernie Sanders and Hilary Clinton placing an emphasis on turnout. Each claiming almost 50% of the vote, any predictions for a potential nomination have been objectionable. In hindsight, this is more of a victory for Bernie Sanders, as much of his support would be been deemed impossible only a few months ago. Hillary Clinton is indeed a popular candidate, and it could be said that she is the favourite, yet she has a fundamental problem connecting with younger voters and as the primaries and caucuses edge into states that have a more diverse demography, this could prove particularly challenging for her.
The “O’Malley factor” may also shift the outlook for the New Hampshire primary as well as other contests in the coming months. Former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley has now dropped out of the race, and although his poll numbers were negligible, such a closely fought race could easily push either candidate across the finish mark.
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