Historically narrow win in Iowa demonstrates split in the Democratic party


Photo Credit: www.hillaryclinton.com

All eyes turned to Iowa on Monday, Feb. 1, as the state held the first primary of the 2016 elections: the infamous Iowa caucus. Caucus officials reported nearly 360,000 citizens cast their votes, for a voter turnout rate of 15.7 percent. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz shocked the country as he surpassed real-estate mogul Donald Trump with 27.6 percent of the Republican votes, but the bigger jaw-dropper came when Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders ended the night in a virtual tie.

For the majority of the night, Clinton polled at 50 percent and Sanders at 49 percent, with third Democratic candidate Martin O’Malley falling far behind with a mere one percent. O’Malley had been a minor player thus far in the race, overshadowed by the Clinton-Sanders feud at nearly every debate, so the lack of support shown in Iowa comes at no surprise. Midway through the caucus, O’Malley announced he was taking himself out of the race for president.

After O’Malley was out of the picture, only 0.29 percent separated the remaining two candidates – the closest margin in recorded history from the Iowa caucus. Eventually, Clinton took the victory with 49.86 percent. The former first lady’s campaign, however, “declared victory” before the state of Iowa would officially call it.

“Hillary Clinton has won the Iowa Caucus,” the Clinton campaign announced. “After thorough reporting – and analysis – of results, there is no uncertainty and Secretary Clinton has clearly won the most national and state delegates.”

Sanders, however, didn’t see this razor-thin difference as a loss.

“We had no money, we had no name recognition and we were taking on the most powerful political organization in the United States of America,” Sanders said Monday at his rally in Des Moines, Iowa. “And tonight, while the results are still not known, it looks like we are in a virtual tie. And that is why what Iowa has begun tonight is a political revolution.”

With these close numbers, Democratic voters are wondering what creates this divide. The answer is simple: age.

Sanders outrivaled Clinton 84 percent to 14 percent among voters younger than 30, according to the Iowa entrance polling. Many are quick to claim this is merely a campus craze, and that the majority of college-aged voters agree with his socialistic ideals having never been in the professional workforce, but Sanders also bettered Clinton by 58 percent to 37 percent among those aged 30 to 44.

Contrastingly, Clinton outperformed Sanders among older voters, with 58 percent to 35 percent among those aged 45-64, and 69 percent to 26 percent among senior voters.

So, if Sanders is to continue this level of performance throughout the remaining state primaries, he’s charged with what many might consider the impossible: convincing the youngest voting demographic, with the longest running history of the lowest voter turnout, to support him not only throughout the Democratic primaries, but also throughout the President election should he get the Democratic bid.

Photo Credit: www.hillaryclinton.com



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