Coin tosses, a squeaker of a win and, perhaps even more surprising, humility. That’s what marked Monday night’s Iowa caucuses, the first votes cast in the 2016 presidential election.
The presidential candidates are now focused on New Hampshire, where polls put Bernie Sanders ahead of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump ahead of Ted Cruz, the Union Leader reports. The New Hampshire primaries will be held next Tuesday, Feb. 9.
Here’s a roundup of headlines from the morning after the Iowa campaign.
Cruz Wins Iowa GOP Race; Clinton, Sanders Very Close In Dem Contest — Iowa Public Radio
“Cruz received nearly 28 percent of the vote, decisively ahead of the crowded GOP field. His closest competition was billionaire Donald Trump, who got 24 percent of the vote, and Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who got 23 percent.
“Just a few days before the caucuses, the final Des Moines Register Iowa Poll had Cruz trailing Trump by five points. Last night, Cruz told supporters his victory shows the next president will not be chosen by the media, by Washington insiders or by lobbyists.”
Iowans didn’t just vote for Cruz, they denied Donald Trump — The New York Post
“Perhaps, in the Iowa results, we saw the first real effects of Trump’s unpopularity with Republicans — that he may be generating actual negative turnout of the sort pollsters find difficult to measure. People may not have crawled through glass to vote for him. They may have crawled through glass to tell Trump to take a well-deserved hike.”
“Oh, and one last thing. In Iowa, among an all-white Republican electorate, 60 percent of the vote last night was cast for two Cubans and an African-American.”
Clinton wins at least six Iowa precincts by coin flip — The Washington Post
“It’s an actual tie,” Benjamin O’Keefe said. “You can’t even write this.”
Then, the caucus got down to business. It had split, 61-61; Clinton was awarded two delegates, and Sanders was awarded two. What would become of the fifth delegate?
Enter coin. Tails — Clinton won.
“What?” O’Keefe said. “… Can you explain this to us?” Someone did, adding insult to injury by saying “Touchdown Seahawks!” — a reference to a 2012 NFL controversy over what many consider to be a terribly random call.
‘Honored’ Donald Trump takes second in Iowa — Des Moines Register
” ‘I was told by everybody, “Do not go to Iowa. You could never finish even in the top 10,” ‘ Trump said. ‘They said, “Don’t do it.” I said, “I have to do it.” And we finished second. And I want to tell you something, I’m just honored.’ ” When Trump launched his campaign in June, few had high hopes for his candidacy. A May poll of Iowans showed just 4 percent of Republicans would have considered Trump their top choice for president.
“But after Trump announced, that support ballooned to 23 percent in August.”
Marco Rubio comes 3rd in Iowa. He declares victory. — Mashable
“With nearly all precincts reporting, Rubio held the third-place spot behind Trump, having won a little more than 23.1% percent of the vote against Cruz’s 27.6% and Trump’s 24.3%.
“By exceeding expectations, Rubio now heads to New Hampshire’s Feb. 9 primary with some momentum.
“Meanwhile, other Republicans candidates such as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Ohio Gov. John Kasich are facing some serious hurdles in New Hampshire after taking less than 3% of the vote each.”
Tight Democratic Race in Iowa Unnerves Clinton Campaign — The New York Times
“The outcome in Iowa — effectively a tie with a far left senator from a small New England state — dealt a jolting psychological blow to the Clinton campaign, leaving volunteers, donors and aides confused throughout the night, and then crestfallen. They had hoped that the former secretary of state would garner a decisive victory here and put to rest any doubts about her strength as a candidate.
“Even before Mrs. Clinton finished her brief remarks to her supporters late Monday night, discussions were underway among her outside advisers and donors about the need to bring in longtime Clinton aides and diminish the role of Robby Mook, her young data-driven campaign manager. Asked about such discussions, Nick Merrill, a spokesman for the campaign, grew irritated. ‘Are you serious?’ he said tersely to a reporter.”