Iowa Sets Pace for 2016 Election


Here & Now

Senator Ted Cruz beat real estate mogul, Donald Trump to win Iowa’s Republican nomination. Former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders went head-to-head, but Clinton prevailed by .3 percent to win the Democratic nomination in Iowa.

Leo Smith, Assistant Online Editor

Since 1972, Iowans have gathered from Council Bluffs to Des Moines, in school gymnasiums, town halls, and or other public venues to participate in the much anticipated Iowa caucus. The caucus system is one of the oldest election methods used to select presidential candidates. The untraditional method means that party members meet, debate, and vote to select a candidate who they want to go onto the next level of elections. As the first state in the nation to vote, Iowa plays a pivotal role in the election.

Months of heated debate paid off for Texas Senator, Ted Cruz. Mr. Cruz’s win was essential in establishing him as a real competitor for real estate mogul Donald Trump. Mr. Cruz beat Mr. Trump by 4 percent with over 6,000 votes. Mr. Cruz is very hopeful that his win in Iowa will transfer over to the rest of the primary election.

“Iowa has sent notice that the next president of the United States will not be chosen by the media,” Mr. Cruz said.“[It] will not be chosen by the Washington establishment…[it] will not be chosen by lobbyists.”

Mr. Trump announced his presidency in June 2015 and has since held the spot as the GOP frontrunner. Given last night’s results, Mr. Trump will have fierce competition throughout the rest of the election. He may even be forced to reconsider his campaign tactics. Mr. Trump has used unconventional campaign methods to gain traction among Republicans but his loss in Iowa may prompt him to use more traditional methods from this point forward.

Despite losing to Mr. Cruz in Iowa, Mr. Trump responded positively.

“We will go on to get the Republican nomination and we will go on to easily beat Hillary or Bernie,” Trump said. “We finished second, and I have to say I am just honored.”

Florida Senator Marco Rubio finished strong in third place among GOP candidates with 23 percent, one point behind Mr. Trump. Although Mr. Rubio did not win in Iowa, a third place finish sets him up to be a real contender for the rest of the race.

The night ended differently for the Democrats. For the majority of the evening, Senator Bernie Sanders trailed closely behind former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The evening’s final results showed Mrs. Clinton with 49.9 percent, .3 percent above Mr. Sanders.

Mrs. Clinton has had much success with older voters leading up to the Iowa caucus by boasting her experience in Washington. Mrs. Clinton was the first lady from 1992-2001, Senator of New York from 2001-2009, and Secretary of State for the Obama administration from 2009-2013. Despite her experience, Mr. Sanders proved he has what it takes to stay in the race.

When Mrs. Clinton addressed her supporters at the conclusion of the night, the results were still unclear on whether or not she beat Mr. Sanders. She did not claim victory over Mr. Sanders, but simply said, “I am excited about really getting into the debate with Senator Sanders about the best way forward to fight for America.”

Mr. Sanders addressed his supporters around midnight with enthusiasm about the night’s success. The senator from Vermont has been downplayed by media about his ability to compete with Mrs. Clinton. His appeal among the younger generation proved positive placing him head and head with Mrs. Clinton at the night’s end.

“Nine months ago, we came to this beautiful state, we had no political organization, we had no money, we had no name recognition,” Mr. Sanders said. “… we were taking on the most powerful political organization in the United States of America.”

The night did not end so well for Democratic candidate, Martin O’Malley and Republican candidate, Mike Huckabee, who suspended their campaigns in response to the votes. There are many other candidates who have yet to release statements regarding the outcome in Iowa. The candidates are expected to be in New Hampshire leading up to the state’s Feb. 9 vote.