By Aria Ahmed
After months of waiting, the first real results of the 2016 race have arrived. In the weeks leading up to the Iowa Caucus, the democratic candidates– former senator Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton– were locked in a dead heat. On the Republican side, businessman Donald Trump held a slight lead over his main opponent Texan, Ted Cruz. This is the first real indication of how the American electorate will vote. The country has been waiting and watching for this news.
The results? Ted Cruz and Hillary Clinton!
This is quite an upset for Donald Trump who has repeatedly boasted about his lead in hypothetical polls but now falls short in the first cast of votes. Floridian Marco Rubio pulled a solid third place, becoming the most viable candidate for those who dislike outsiders for the Republican establishment or those who don’t trust Cruz. Meanwhile, Clinton pulled what was barely a victory over Sanders. They were tied for the entire night but she edged him out by a narrow margin of only a few points. This is still a relief for the campaigners, who remember all too well the upset of the 2008 election.
The results of the caucus give an impression of what the rest of the race will look like. The democratic establishment will try to further cement Clinton as their choice to protect the Obama legacy and continue their agenda. Sanders is still very much a threat due to his socialist views and desire to derail Obama’s work. It puts him at an opposition with his party. The Republicans have their work cut out for them as well. While they are still not truly behind Trump, many also don’t like Cruz. The establishment’s choice, former governor Jeb Bush, is still not gaining the support he needs. Rubio remains an option that can work with the establishment but he has yet to edge out Cruz and Trump.
Of course, the caucus did prompt candidates to drop out. Democrat Martin O’Malley left the race along with Mike Huckabee on the Republican side. The field is narrowing and many candidates may be stuck with a lackluster performance in Iowa as their last stand.
The Iowa caucus sets a minor precedence for the coming months as to who will emerge as the party’s favorite and the people’s choice– though those may differ. Iowa was only the first step and those determined to make it to the White House have a long road ahead of them.
Photo Credit: ABC