UPDATE: 3:59 a.m. EST — Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has won the closest-ever Iowa Democratic caucus, reports said.
Iowa Democratic Party Chair Andy McGuire released a statement on the 2016 Iowa Democratic precinct caucuses, congratulating candidates and volunteers.
“Tonight we saw an historically close Iowa Democratic Caucus that featured one of our strongest turnouts ever and passion and energy from Democrats all across our state," McGuire said in a statement. "Hillary Clinton has been awarded 699.57 state delegate equivalents, Bernie Sanders has been awarded 695.49 state delegate equivalents, Martin O’Malley has been awarded 7.68 state delegate equivalents and uncommitted has been awarded .46 state delegate equivalents."
Matt Paul, Clinton’s Iowa state director, said in a statement: “After thorough reporting — and analysis — of results, there is no uncertainty and Secretary Clinton has clearly won the most national and state delegates.” He added that there was no statistical way for Vermont Sen. Sanders to overcome Clinton’s advantage.
UPDATE: 12:40 a.m. EST — In three caucus precincts, an extra delegate had to be awarded. The method? A coin toss. In all three cases, the Clinton campaign won the toss. Had the coins gone the other way, Sanders would currently be slightly ahead.
UPDATE: 11:35 p.m. EST — Hillary Clinton cast her herself as a champion for women's rights, voting rights and students as she prepared for a new fight against Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders for the future of the Democratic party. Clinton gave a victory speech Monday night in Iowa as early results showed she was locked in a tie with Sanders.
"I am a progressive who gets things done for people," she said, signaling her campaign's message as she takes on Sanders, who has been popular with young and liberal voters. "We have to be united when it is all said and done. We have to be united when it is all said and done against a Republican vision and candidates who would drive us apart and divide us. That's not who we are, my friends."
Hillary's speech is a little... premature. pic.twitter.com/csnKDUibgj
— Scott Bixby (@scottbix) February 2, 2016
Original story: Hillary Clinton finally won Iowa. Or, at least, that's what her campaign says.
In a close election that illustrated her vulnerability among young and liberal voters, Clinton was locked in a tight race with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders Monday night eight years after she placed third in Iowa during a bruising presidential campaign that saw her lose to lesser-known candidates. This time, Clinton had 49 percent of the support, and so did Sanders, but her campaign still declared victory with 90 percent of the vote in. Sanders, of course, also said he won.
The race between Sanders and Clinton had been portrayed as a long-coming battle between warring factions of the Democratic party. Sanders, who became the party’s first top-tier candidate in decades to propose broad-based tax increases, devoted campaign speeches to promoting European-style socialism while railing against Wall Street. Clinton, who enjoys an easy relationship with Wall Street campaign donors, championed a “sensible, achievable agenda” that would build on the Obama administration's legacy in healthcare, the economy and national security.
Iowans embraced Clinton Monday night but also held close to Sanders. Clinton's husband, Bill, helped her campaign in Iowa and the powerhouse political couple was expected to address supporters Monday night after the votes were tallied. C-SPAN was expected to live stream the victory speech.
Heading into the caucuses, Clinton was poised to trounce Sanders in elections later this month in Nevada and South Carolina, while putting up a respectable showing in New Hampshire, where Sanders enjoys home-field advantage, and setting herself up for a competitive finish in March, when the majority of Democratic delegates are allocated in contests across the nation.
Sanders has held onto an average 18-point lead over Clinton in New Hampshire polls over the last two weeks, according to Real Clear Politics. He also appealed nationwide to groups Clinton has struggled to win over, including many young people, liberals and some women, blacks and Hispanics who consider Clinton untrustworthy or too moderate.
Millennial voters' aversion to Clinton could become troublesome as she campaigns in other states. Women under 35 backed Sanders by an almost 20-point margin, compared to men's 4-point margin, according to a January online survey of young voters from USA Today and Rock the Vote. With voters 18 to 44 years old, Sanders trumps Clinton 78 percent to 21 percent, a recent Quinnipiac poll found.
Stephanie Hundley, 28, from Waterloo, Iowa, described herself as an enthusiastic Bernie Sanders supporter with strong feelings against Clinton's "flip-flops," and vote to go to war in Iraq. "It's weird that an old, white guy would represent women better than an actual woman," she told NPR ahead of the Iowa caucuses.
— FiveThirtyEight (@FiveThirtyEight) February 1, 2016
Nevertheless, Clinton remains well liked among Democrats, including those in Iowa, where her favorable rating was 81 percent in a recent Des Moines Register poll. The former first lady, former secretary of state and former senator from New York has amassed an impressive campaign war chest, set up ground operations across the early nominating states and put together a long list of endorsements from Democratic stalwarts, including New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Planned Parenthood.
When Clinton came in third in Iowa in 2008 to a less experienced and well-known Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, she never enjoyed the same lead in national polling her campaign saw during the early stages of the 2016 primary season. She also faced a more crowded field, including competitive rivals such as North Carolina Sen. John Edwards and former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson.
— Mashable (@mashable) February 1, 2016
After her months of hard work, she was counting on fattening snacks to help her over the finish line Monday in Iowa. Just hours before the caucuses began, Clinton and daughter, Chelsea, dropped off doughnuts at the campaign’s office in Des Moines, the New York Times reported.
“I had to stop by and tell you how much I appreciate your hard work,” Clinton said, according to a pool report. “I thought I’d bring you some unhealthy snacks!”