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What You Need to Know About Last Night’s Iowa Caucuses

The Iowa caucuses came to a conclusion Tuesday morning, resulting in a win for Ted Cruz and a virtual tie between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. In addition to these victories, there were a few surprises and some candidates even dropped out of the race! If you missed the excitement, here’s a recap of the Iowa caucuses.

Republican Side

Ted Cruz won the caucus race…

With 28 percent of the Republican votes, Ted Cruz beat out the other candidates in Iowa. This was predictable, considering that he has been a frontrunner in the state, especially among Evangelical conservatives.

…But more importantly, Donald Trump lost

Donald Trump came in second among the GOP candidates, gaining 24 percent of the votes. Second isn’t a bad finish, but it isn’t quite what Trump was hoping for. Just a day before the caucuses, Trump announced to a crowd in a middle school gym, “We’re going to win…we’re leading everywhere.” Maybe confidence isn’t key, Donald?

Marco Rubio did way better than expected

Yes, most polls predicted that Marco Rubio would come in third. However, he came much closer to the other two candidates than anyone expected. According to the Washington Post, “polling indicated Rubio would be a distant third, trailing by perhaps double digits.” Instead, Rubio came out with 23 percent of the GOP vote—just one percent behind Trump.

Ben Carson claims that Ted Cruz spread rumors about him

Ben Carson came in at a distant fourth place, winning over only 9 percent of the Iowa voters. Earlier Tuesday, Carson alleged that Ted Cruz began a rumor that his campaign would be suspended after Iowa for a while. This may have convinced voters not to “waste” their votes on Ben Carson. On Tuesday afternoon, Cruz apologized, saying his campaign had seen a report that Carson was dropping out and had updated grassroots leaders. He acknowledged that they should have sent a follow-up email when they found out Carson was not ending his campaign.

Mike Huckabee dropped out of the race

In the midst of the action Monday night, Christian conservative candidate Mike Huckabee dropped out of the 2016 race. He won less than 2 percent of the vote in Iowa. Later on, Donald Trump thanked Huckabee in his post-caucus speech as a friend of his throughout the campaign.

Democratic Side

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders virtually tie in the caucuses


Although Hillary technically won officially on Tuesday morning, this was only by 0.3 percent of the votes—which is an extremely small margin of victory. Bernie and Hillary basically tied in Iowa. The two candidates are so close in the race that no one knows quite yet which one will have the upper hand throughout the rest of the primaries.

Martin O’Malley dropped out of the race

Former Baltimore mayor Martin O’Malley dropped out of the 2016 election after he only managed to win 0.6 percent of the Democratic votes. You gave it your best shot, Martin.

This is just the beginning of the elections for the 2016 presidential nominations. With candidates from both parties competing closely, the fight for the nomination will definitely be hard fought and won.

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Bridget Higgins

U Mass Amherst

Bridget is a senior Journalism major focusing on political journalism at UMass Amherst. She interned for the HC editorial team, writes columns for the Massachusetts Daily Collegian, and occasionally gets a freelance article or two on sailing published by Ocean Navigator Magazine. When she isn't greeting random puppies on the street, she loves to cook for her friends, perpetuate her coffee addiction, and spend too much time crafting Tweets. She is also an avid fan of chocolate anything and unnecessary pillows. If you want to know more about Bridget, follow her on Instagram - @bridget_higgins - or Twitter - @bridgehiggins
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