Iowa: First Caucus

Sam Johnson

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Voters gather at Iowa caucus to show support for candidates. Photo by Huffington Post

Iowa has caucused and the results
are in. Starting on the left side of
the matter, Hillary Clinton pulled a
narrow win against Bernie Sander,
only a .2 percent margin.
But as with most things regarding
Clinton, her win was close, out
of the ordinary and some could
even go as far as to say “shady.”
During the time of caucusing, it
was said that many supporters of
both Sanders and Clinton were split
evenly, so by “tradition,” (and what
many have noted to be incredibly
rare circumstances, although said
circumstances have not been specified)
there was a coin toss to decide
who would receive the delegates
needed to pull a win.
According to reports from the
state, Hillary won six out of the six
(other sources have also reported
there being seven) coin tosses; a
supposed statistical improbability
that just so happened to come out in
favor of one of the candidates with
the most shady background. Sound
weird?
After the email scandal, the lack
of information regarding the attacks
at Benghazi and suffering through
the worst youth campaign since
Microsoft aired their O.M.G.I.G.P.
commercial, it’s safe to assume
that there’s probably not much she
wouldn’t do to pull in a few votes to
make up for her past.
What’s more important than
Hillary barely winning over Senator
Sanders is actually what the
loss means for Sanders’ campaign.
Since the beginning of the presidential
campaign season, Sanders
has not been taken very seriously.
He has fought against very difficult
circumstances and like a street kid
out of nowhere getting a shot at the
title, this caucus may be foreshadowing
him actually winning the
candidacy — and perhaps, one day,
the presidency.
Sanders has been rallying and
trying to build support amongst
young voters since the start of his
campaign and it has really payed
off. Many young voters and passionately
debated for Sanders in
their caucus areas despite harsh
weather in some areas of Iowa and
general voter apathy that younger
people have.
Furthermore, it has been reported
that those who have income
less than $100,000 a year have a
stronger tendency to support Bernie
Sanders (by a huge margin),
where those who make more than
$100,000 a year tend to lean towards
Hillaryand since most democratic
voters in recent exit polls and the
New Hampshire primary reported
to be making less than $100,000 a
year (according to data given by
fivethirtyeight), Sanders may have
more sweeps across the country like
he did in New Hampshire and his
near-tie with Clinton in Iowa.
Moreover, this near-tie has
boosted the morale of Sanders’
campaign exponentially. After the
results were released, Sanders’ campaign
raised millions of dollars,
gained support from many undecided
voters (even pulling some Clinton
supporters to his side as well),
but most importantly, Sanders supporters
are more passionate than
ever and growing in numbers fast.
In fact, it was reported that in the
New Hampshire primary, Sanders
beat Clinton in almost every single
demographic group — even young
women, which many have thought
would be the one demographic
group Clinton would easily have in
her pocket.
The biggest problem Sanders
must face in the future of the election
and his campaign is the superdelegates
that Clinton has in her
pocket. If you don’t know, a superdelegate
is something unique to
the democratic party; They are delegates
to the party convention (usually
members of the Democratic
National Committee and other state
and federal elected officials) who
are allowed to endorse their own
pick regardless of how their home
state votes. So, no matter the voting
patterns, Hillary could still use the
superdelegates that she has pledged
to her and the power she has from
being Secretary of State or really
just the political power she has from
being a Clinton to slip a few more
superdelegates her way and heavily
sway the outcome of the primaries
in her favor.
She is not guaranteed a win because
of this; Sanders could use his
influence as a senator to push some
his way (or the fact that, historically
speaking, many superdelegates
will usually vote for whatever the
popular vote is) and he could win
by a really close margin like Clinton
did in Iowa, or win by a landslide
like he did in New Hampshire.

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